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Re: Whether remotely running software is considered "software" for Debian.

Bernd Zeimetz <bernd@bzed.de> writes:

> On 08/12/2017 07:35 PM, Marco d'Itri wrote:
>> On Aug 12, "Dr. Bas Wijnen" <wijnen@debian.org> wrote:
>>> Which would be a great example of software that is free interacting with
>>> software that is non-free.  Thus the package with this as its main purpose
>>> should live in contrib.  There's nothing wrong with that.
>> There is no such requirement for Debian packages and there has never 
>> been one.
>> This was settled about 15 years ago, discussing ICQ clients.
>> Even RMS agreed.
> Also nobody will stop you from writing your own server for a protocol
> which is implemented by a client. Also nobody stops you from changing
> the client code to work with a different/similar kind of server you've
> implemented.
> So it is free software, please move on.

Mind you, all the software contained in main and contrib's packages is
free software. The question is into which of main and contrib the
software under discussion should go.

Actually, I haven't seen anyone citing the following part of policy
2.2.1: "None of the packages in the main archive area require software
outside of that area to function."

If we agree that "functioning software" does more than print an error or
a usage note, this part makes it rather clear where free client software
to non-free server software belongs.

In another message Tollef writes about a software's or service's
usefulness. That's orthogonal to classification into main, contrib and

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