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Re: Bug#353277: ndiswrapper in main

This one time, at band camp, Thomas Bushnell BSG said:
> Adam McKenna <adam@flounder.net> writes:
> > On Thu, Feb 23, 2006 at 01:30:25PM -0800, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
> >> Help me out then.  You seemed to suggest that not putting ndiswrapper
> >> in main would be to "ignore rules that are very clearly laid out in
> >> the SC and DFSG."
> >
> > I suggested that the CTTE overriding the developer's judgement in this
> > instance would be an abuse of power, since the DFSG and SC (not to mention
> > policy) clearly spell out the requirements for main, and ndiswrapper clearly
> > meets them.
> I think this is clearly incorrect.  The DFSG and the SC do not say
> anything about the requirements for main that I can see.

This is a clear misunderstanding, AFAICT.  Point 1 of the SC says that "We
will never make the system require the use of a non-free component", and
the DFSG define the difference between free and non-free.  Since require
in the technical sense is expressed through dependencies (although I
have seen someone assert with explanation that package dependencies don't
matter here, for some reason), it is rather clear to me that ndiswrapper
meets the criteria for main.

I will try to be clear about what I think is so wrong headed about this
thread, and what I worry it represents.

ndiswrapper is a piece of free software.  It does not need non-free tools
to build, and it will execute as a standalone app without any drivers.
The fact that most people use it to enable non-free drivers to work is
largely irrelevant - most people use wine and various other emulators
for similar purposes.

We have historically allowed all of these in main because we have defined
the criteria for main in the SC and the DFSG.  Repeatedly over the past
year or two, several people have been trying to incrementally rewrite
the foundation documents by stealth through a slow process of arguing
for new interpretations of what these documents meant.  I see this
entire thread as yet one more attempt at this incremental revisionist
work, and it is worrisome.
|   ,''`.                                            Stephen Gran |
|  : :' :                                        sgran@debian.org |
|  `. `'                        Debian user, admin, and developer |
|    `-                                     http://www.debian.org |

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