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Re: LCC and blobs

Josh Triplett writes:

> If the ICQ server were packaged in the Debian non-free section, would
> you make ICQ clients Depends: or Recommends: on the ICQ server?  If not,
> then if the ICQ server were packaged, the ICQ client would still be in
> main.  Therefore, the ICQ client can be in main.

A, ergo B, ergo A.

> In general, Debian doesn't make clients for a network protocol depend on
> servers for that protocol.  I think that's a perfectly reasonable
> policy, given that you could run the server elsewhere, not on the local
> machine.

How can I run an ICQ server?  Until the answer is "install this
package from Debian," I believe that the only way to interpret the
DFSG consistent with your argument is to move the ICQ client to

> Similarly, consider if the firmware were packaged in non-free.  If the
> device didn't require the driver to load firmware, the driver would at
> most Suggests: firmware, and could go to main.  If the driver must load
> the firmware, the driver Depends: or Recommends: firmware, so the driver
> can't be in main.

This establishes at most an indirect dependency on the firmware: The
driver depends on the device which depends on the firmware.  Since
Debian cannot express the second dependency, you insist that it
express "driver depends on firmware."  You inconvenience the owner of
the device simply because their device has a certain characteristic.

This is identical to the ICQ case: The client depends on the server
(service) which depends on the server (software).  Debian cannot
express the second dependency, so following your approach, we must
insist "client software depends on server software."

> If we don't use a mechanism similar to this, then we end up in a
> situation where if the firmware becomes distributable, ends up in
> Debian, and the driver can then express proper dependencies, the driver
> would have to move to contrib.  That would make no sense.

Many things which are not true make no sense.

Michael Poole

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