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Re: Bug#661329: recommends doom-wad which is only provided by non-free doom-wad-shareware

Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org> writes:

> By the way I would like to add another point, that the split between
> contrib and non-free is not informative.  A program in contrib can be
> tightly coupled to a non-free library in a way that would require a
> considerable amount of work to free it.  On the other hand, a program in
> non-free can be so because of re-using non-free code that can be easily
> removed.

The distinction between contrib and non-free is not informative because
it's not based on what would be a sensible division from a user
perspective.  The distinction between contrib and non-free is purely
legal.  contrib contains software that's redistributable in its entirety
under the DFSG; non-free contains software that is not, in part or in
whole.  That's basically it; that's the whole of the distinction, and
attempting to read more into it than that is going to lead people astray.

> For instance, the seaview package went from main to non-free when it
> gained the possibility to do some kind of phylogenetic analysis, and if
> one would remove this function, the resulting program would still be
> completely functional and would be an improvement compared to the last
> free version.

This is just because the granularity of our ability to divide things
between archives is the package level.  We can't divide things at any
lower level than that, so each package has to be declared DFSG-free or not
in its entirety.

If you separated out the phylogenetic analysis into a separate package,
then we would be able to divide the software properly.  (I realize that
this is probably difficult or you would have already done so.)

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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