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Re: Visualboy Advance question.

Joe Wreschnig <piman@sacredchao.net> wrote:
> On Wed, 2004-06-23 at 15:30, Walter Landry wrote:
> > Evan Prodromou <evan@debian.org> wrote:
> > > On Tue, 2004-06-22 at 19:02, Josh Triplett wrote:
> > > 
> > > > While I agree that it is not necessarily required that a Free package
> > > > Depend on some piece of Free data for it to operate on, I do believe
> > > > that if there is _no_ Free data for the package to run with, and that
> > > > data is required in order to operate, then the package must go in
> > > > contrib until at least one free piece of data is available.
> > > 
> > > I just don't think that software Depends: on the data it manipulates the
> > > way that it Depends: on, say, libraries or other programs.
> > > 
> > > It also seems terribly unhackerly. I mean, heck: if I'd like to create
> > > some Free Gameboy ROMs, I'd want to do it on a Free operating system.
> > > 
> > > Lastly, I guess there's just something really violating about thinking
> > > that Debian is judging the data I have, or could have, on my hard drive.
> > > So I'm not working with Free data. So what? Mind your own beeswax,
> > > Debian.
> > 
> > This was all discussed to death when Quake 2 was GPL'd [1].  The main
> > problem I see is that if you accept these arguments, contrib becomes
> > empty.
> Except for all the programs that depend on proprietary libraries, or
> proprietary runtime environments, or installer programs (though I would
> be fine moving the last case to non-free). i.e. the stuff that Depends:
> in the Debian sense.

But that seems terribly unhackerly. I mean, heck: if I'd like to
create some Free version of the proprietary library, I'd want to do it
on a Free operating system. ;)

> >  Whether you like it or not, there is a value judgement going
> > on with contrib vs. main.  If something is not "useful" enough with
> > non-free bits, then it goes into contrib.
> A good comparison is, why do we ship .doc readers in Debian? I'm pretty
> sure we don't distribute any .docs (someone will prove me wrong on this,
> I bet), and I can't recall seeing one under a free license that wasn't
> also available in some better form.

Are you going to make me attach one to this email?

> We've come to the conclusion that because the .doc reader itself is
> free and because many of our users might want to open .docs (even
> though they are proprietary pieces of shit), we include the reader.

Debian included it because it is not that hard to find or generate
free .docs.  I agree that the standard should not be whether something
is packaged for Debian.  Rather it should be (and seems to be) whether
there is any useful free content at all.  Yes, useful is subjective.
But I would argue that it has never been a problem in practice.

> Prior to the inclusion of OpenOffice, I don't even think we had anything
> that could generate free .docs (no, AbiWord can't); I believe GCC can
> generate free Gameboy binaries.

The original poster claimed that there exist free and useful Gameboy
binaries that this emulator can use.  If that is the case, then I have
no objections with regards to this particular emulator.

Walter Landry

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