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Re: Bug#353277: ndiswrapper in main

On Wed, Feb 22, 2006 at 05:29:35PM -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> The distinction between main and contrib isn't one of the freeness of the
> contents, though; it's of whether the package requires a component outside
> of Debian/main for use.  Actually, let's look at what policy says:

Agreed; but the definition of 'require' should be made clear. Debian is
an exception as an operating system, since it contains a huge load of
application software; most operating systems do not.

Do you require at least one application package to run an operating
system such as Windows or MacOS? No. Is it useful without that? Less so.

The same is true for ndiswrapper, I'd say.

> ndiswrapper doesn't really require any non-free packages for execution; it
> requires *some* NDIS driver, but it's probably not useful to package those
> and definitely not useful for ndiswrapper to depend on a particular one of
> them.  So I guess this makes it a question of whether ndiswrapper is a free
> wrapper package for non-free programs.  Well, the name suggests that it is a
> wrapper. :)

If I rename nbd-server to disk-wrapper, does that make it a wrapper?

> Is it a wrapper for non-free software?  That is certainly my
> understanding of it.

A wrapper, as used in policy, is a little script or similar that will
set up an environment (LD_LIBRARY_PATH, LD_PRELOAD, PATH, etc) and then
just run the application.

ndiswrapper isn't even in the same ballpark.

> Even if free NDIS drivers do exist (and we know that they do), I've
> heard enough negative comments about the quality of the ndiswrapper
> shim that I can't really believe that a sane person will want to use
> it as anything other than a wrapper for non-free drivers.

Debian also exists for non-sane people.

> So I have a hard time defending ndiswrapper-in-main on policy grounds.  I
> think most of the people saying it belongs in main are really concerned that
> putting it in contrib will mean it's less well supported in Debian;

Not in my case; I just think it's the right thing to do.

Fun will now commence
  -- Seven Of Nine, "Ashes to Ashes", stardate 53679.4

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