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Packages in contrib solely because they allow using non-free software


I have stumbled across this note, in the d/copyright file of the
lutris package:

> Comment: lutris is not part of the Debian distribution, but is in the contrib
>  archive area instead, because while lutris itself is free software, its main
>  purpose is to download and install mainly non-free software. Further, lutris
>  recommends winetricks, which itself is free software as well, but is also in
>  contrib for the same reason.

That surprised me. If a package is free software, in ful laccordance
with the DFSG, why is it put into contrib? I can see where this note
comes from — the package maintainer does not want to help people
install non-free software, a point of view that is famous with the FSF
and a reason for them to discourage a distribution.

But it is new to me that Debian falls for this. According to Debian
Poilcy 2.2.2, "wrapper packages or other sorts of free accessories for
non-free programs" are examples of packages that can go into contrib
as well. But neither winetricks nor lutris are wrapper packages for
non-free programs — while they do allow installing and using non-free
software as well, they can be used for any kidn of game or program,
including free software. Lutris actually has explicit support for quite a few
games that are in Debian main.

I consider it a bad idea to hide free software tools from average
users, which putting it into contrib technically does (contrib is not
enabled on vanilla installs of Debian). Packages of Lutris play a huge
role in fostering free software, even though this is not too obvious
as they do ease the use of non-free software. Example:

A gamer who uses, let's say, Windows, considers moving to Debian.
However, they do not want to drop the games the yare playing. The
two scenarios are:

 a) They try Debian, and find out they have to learn how the different
    package areas work, reconfigure their package sources, and find
    confirmation that Linux is not fit for the desktop or for gaming,
    or at least over-complicated. They stay with Windows.

 b) They try Debian, and find that it lets them run a huge amount of
    their games out of the box, with a nice frontend and game library.

Which one do we. as a community, prefer? I strongly advocate for
option b).

I want to open this for discussion, as I can fully understand both
points of view. While I could discuss this with the winetricks and
lutris maintainers alone, I think it is an important discussion and
decision for the project as a whole.


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