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Re: Bug#353277: ndiswrapper in main

Stephen Gran <sgran@debian.org> writes:

>> In any case, the real point here is the following statement from
>> 2.2.2, which says that contrib is for "wrapper packages or other sorts
>> of free accessories for non-free programs."
> Since ndiswrapper's main purpose is to create a kernel API to allow
> drivers designed for a different API to communicate with the kernel, I
> don't think this counts as a wrapper.  ndiswrapper does what it sets out
> to do, whether or not any software (free or not) uses that API.

That's curious.  It's described as a wrapper in the package name, the
Debian package description, and the upstream webpage.

In both cases, it is specifically documented as being for use with
non-free software.  It's specifically said that its purpose is to deal
with the fact that some vendors "refuse to release hardware
specifications" and that for such hardware, users are stuck with
non-free NDIS drivers.

While we are trusting the package maintainer, surely we should trust
the package maintainer to be correctly documenting the program?  

However, if the description is incorrect, then perhaps it should be
changed.  I don't really know, because I'm not an expert on the
technical question here.

> No, the question is, is ndiswrapper a functionally complete program?

Are you saying that ndiswrapper is useful all by itself, without any
drivers at all?  I have asked this question before, but didn't get an
answer; I really don't know.  What functions does it provide, in the
absence of an NDIS driver?

>> But I don't know; everyone seems to be dancing around the actual
>> question: are there any free drivers for which ndiswrapper is useful?
> This is an irrelevant question, which is why you're not getting an
> answer you're happy with.

Well, if it's true that ndiswrapper is useful even without any
drivers, then yeah, that would be an irrelevant question.  I haven't
seen any descriptions of its functionality except that it is useless
without drivers to wrap.

>> But rather than argue about what *might* be so, geez, can *somebody*
>> PLEASE, just answer the factual question?
> Yes.  Non-free drivers need ndiswrapper.  ndiswrapper does not need
> non-free drivers.  There is no dependency.  Does that help?

Perhaps we disagree about what a wrapper is.  Can you give me an
example of a wrapper that you think does belong in contrib?


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