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Re: historical question about fceu in contrib

Hello Evan,

Sorry for the late reply, been rather busy...

On Sun, Jun 20, 2004 at 10:27:05PM -0400, Evan Prodromou wrote:
> It seems kind of strange to me and some other debian-legal people that a
> package was kept out of main because the data files it uses are
> non-free. Even for emulators and interpreters, this is kind of unusual.

Really?!  So you mean I didn't have to go to all that trouble...  It
made reasonable sense to me at the time (see below) and both my sponsor
and AM seemed to agree with me.  Ah well, at least I discovered an
interesting game in the process.

> Can you explain, for my benefit, why fceu wasn't in main in the first
> place? Was it your decision, or did you get advice on the matter from
> others? Was it just because the game ROMs are usually non-free, or was
> there other software (such as an operating-system ROM) that was
> required?

OK, here's the history of getting fceu into main:

I originally decided that fceu should go to contrib because that was the
status of other game console emulators in Debian (eg. zsnes, nestra,
etc...).  Furthermore, this made sense to me since, at the time, I was
unaware of any sources of free ROMs -- so it seemed to resemble a free
program that required a non-free library to function and thus should go
to contrib.

After a while, I started running in to some ROMs that were created by
people on the 'net and who were distributing them with the source code.
This got me thinking about a strategy to move fceu into main if I could
find a ROM that could go into main.  After a while I managed to find
"Escape From Pong" which was an interesting twist for a game concept --
and most importantly had an author that was willing to work with me
(both on licensing and building) and with a bit of work I was able to
get it to build on my system using existing tools.  I packaged it and
eventually uploaded it to the archive, try apt-get install efp ;-)  With
that, I saw no reason that fceu itself shouldn't enter main, and after
consultation with -legal I uploaded a new version of fceu to

I'm not sure what your motivation for the questions are, but if I've
missed something feel free to ask me any other questions about this.

Hope this helps,

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