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Re: can a kernel in main depend on firmware in non-free to work?

Le mardi 28 octobre 2008 à 14:12 -0200, Alexandre Oliva a écrit :
> I hope the prevalent interpretation of Debian's rules and policies
> isn't so lax as to make room for such manipulation as packaging stuff
> in main that belongs in contrib or non-free just because it happens to
> be part of the same upstream package.

It’s not manipulation, it is the obvious result of how main and contrib
are split.

For another example, poppler needs a non-free package (poppler-data) to
read PDFs written in some languages. Should we move poppler to contrib
because of these languages?

> In fact, I have evidence to the contrary: a number of packages that
> ship as a unit upstream are split by Debian into separate packages, so
> that portions that are Free and stand-alone remain in main, while
> non-Free portions go to non-free, and those that are Free but require
> non-Free portions go to contrib.

I don’t know of such a package, but if there are, that’s fine. Just

> Why should this cleansing not be applied to the kernel, that's
> arguably far more important than a number of accessory packages that
> undergo this procedure?

Because the kernel is perfectly usable without the firmwares. Since they
only extend its functionality to support more hardware, there’s
absolutely no reason to split the kernel packages.

> Please don't frame this as if it were a discussion about dpkg
> dependency tags.  It's completely immaterial to the discussion which
> tag one should use, if any, to represent the fact that some of the
> code in a driver requires non-Free firmware code to work.

No, the main/contrib distinction comes precisely and uniquely from
dependencies (Depends/Recommends vs. Suggests). As long as the package
as a whole is free, it can go to main.

> The relevant passage is "must not require a package outside of main
> for [...]  execution".  Focusing on the tags comes off as a
> distraction away from what's actually stated in Debian's rules, i.e.,
> it amounts to mistaking a stated consequence (thus, ...) for the rule
> itself.

Does the kernel require the firmwares in non-free for execution? No. End
of story.

: :' :      We are debian.org. Lower your prices, surrender your code.
`. `'       We will add your hardware and software distinctiveness to
  `-        our own. Resistance is futile.

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