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

On Feb 21, Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> wrote:

> The reason for contrib isn't practicality at all, it's to distinguish
> free software that stands on its own and that depends on non-free
> software. That's why it's specifically talked about in the social
> contract, rather than only being discussed in policy. 
Indeed. I believe that in origin the main purpose of contrib was to
collect applications depending on non-free libraries like Motif and
XForms, to make clear to our users that while these packages were free
software they needed some non-free components to work, with all the
practical and moral implications which follow from this.
I think that e.g. emulators like scummvm or ABI adaptation layers like
WINE and ndiswrapper are in a different category because they are free
software which enables us to use some non-free program with Linux, may
it be an old game or the driver for a network card.
If we assume that users want/need to use these non-free programs anyway
then scummvm and ndiswrapper provide a benefit to users and the free
software movement because while they are usually used together with
non-free software they have the net effect of allowing users to use
*less* non-free software.


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