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Re: xephem?

On Tue, Nov 02, 2004 at 08:02:56AM +0100, Jeroen van Wolffelaar wrote:
> This is true, see http://bugs.debian.org/270695 for a log of what
> happened. The reason is that the (previous) maintainer doesn't have the
> time to maintain this package.

The real reason is that xephem provides non-free data and the (Debian)
maintainer has been unable to fix this in time. Maybe he did not contact 
the upstream maintainer about this issue (which is documented in the BTS)

> Since Debian is a volonteer organisation, and nobody has stepped up yet
> to reintroduce it, you can do one of the following things if you want it
> back:

0) Fix the issue related to the use of non-free astronomical data. You are 
violating Yale's license by distributing the contents of the catalogue in 
modified form.

Until the above is done, nothing of the things below can apply. That is, 
unless you remove the yale stuff from the upstream sources and provide a 
script that generates the catalogue based on an (official) yale startdata 
catalogue. That would enable the package go into contrib, since Debian does 
ship the (unmodified) Yale stardata catalogue in non-free. See: 

Much better would be to use other stardata catalogues which are freely 
available (like ESA's Hipparcos, which is what kstars did to solve this 

> 1) File a Request For Package (RFP), and hope that someone will solve
>    the issues with the last package and reintroduce it in Debian
>    See http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp

You can also see the current policy (work in progress) for astronomy 
packages in Debian in the stardata-common Alioth project [1]. More 
specifically, in it's CVS: 

In Debian we are trying to move from a situation in which each astronomy 
package provides its own stardata catalogue to a situation in which all the 
astronomy packages use share data (either directly or converting them 
through scripts on installation). We currently provide the gliese and yale 
packages and will provide separate packages for other stardata catalogues 
in the future. Take a look at how starplot and spacechart do this 
(reviewing the Debian sources) to get a feel of how it's done. Currently 
other astronomy packages (openuniverse, kstars, etc.) have not yet switched 
but we would like to do this post-sarge.



[1] http://alioth.debian.org/projects/stardata-common/

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