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Re: Bug#353277: ndiswrapper in main (was: Bug#353277: should be in contrib)

Peter Samuelson writes:

> [Michael Poole]
> > What's the purpose of an assembler without assembly code to use it
> > on?  Despite Anthony's claim, I see no packages that can use nasm out
> > of the box
> If you hadn't already shot your credibility, you just did.  Anthony
> listed a dozen or so packages in Debian which require nasm in order to
> build.  How can you "see no packages" when he gave you an explicit list
> of them?

I assumed that the relationship would show up on the binary package
pages of pdo.debian.net, or as rdepends on nasm's source package page.
They do not.

> > If you want to move ndiswrapper to contrib, I expect the next step is
> > to do the same to libflash, for the same reasons.
> There's a big difference between enabling someone to install non-free
> software, and enabling someone to view data.  (Some of which is free,
> some not.)  Also, in case this was your point, swf content is sometimes
> generated with free tools such as ploticus.

What is the difference?  I thought GR 2004-003 was all about
recognizing software as software, whether some people call it
"documentation" or "programs".  SWF may be generated with free tools,
but under a strict reading of Policy, that is insufficient to qualify
for main.

> > move interpreter and compilers for Java bytecode to contrib.  After
> > all, the point of Java is to allow the running of non-free software.
> > Mono and DotGNU would get the same treatment.  Right?
> No, the point of Java is to allow users to run Java software, which
> they may or may not have written themselves, and which may or may not
> be free software.  Examples of all permutations of the above are really
> easy to find.  Can you say the same of ndiswrapper?  Please be prepared
> to present the testimonials of all the Windows driver developers you
> know who really wish they could conveniently test their Windows drivers
> on Debian, because I find it hard to believe there are any.  We've
> already established that nobody can find any free Windows drivers for
> use with ndiswrapper, except one which is pointless as it's a port of a
> driver Debian already has as native code.

Again, there is no mention of "pointless" software in Policy -- if
there were, some large fraction of main would be moved because it is
duplicative, trivial or otherwise pointless to have.  Likewise, there
is no mention of "Windows driver developers ... who really wish they
could conveniently test their Windows drivers on Debian".  Policy only
says "the packages in main must not require a package outside of main
for compilation or execution".

Michael Poole

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