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Re: zsnes belonging to main instead of contrib

Scripsit Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org>
> On Sat, Aug 06, 2005 at 06:07:19PM +0200, Philipp Kern wrote:

>> I still disagree as zsnes does not *require* non-free ROMs. One could  
>> write a free ROM, and one presenting the Debian logo is provided. It  
>> does not depend on any non-free system ROM to run correctly. There is  
>> also a bug report about this: #313137.

> I don't believe there have ever been any significant objections to
> this notion. But I'm not willing to argue in its defense.

The interpretation of "require" in #1 of the social contract has been
the subject of numerous heated flamewars, especially in the context of
firmware. I dare say that in the course of those flamewars, there have
been arguments made either way that ware broad enough to apply here.

My opinion (which I don't dare suggest is a consensus) is this: If we
*assume* for the sake of the test that the "canonical" ROM were free
and somebody had packaged it for main, and under that assumption it
would be a bug for zsnes not to declare a "Depends" (rather than
merely "Recommends" or "Suggests") against the ROM, then zsnes cannot
be in main as long as the ROM isn't.

A program in main must not only be able to run and avoid crashing
without non-free (or hypothetical) support data; it must also at least
be able to perform to a reasonable degree whatever is its main
practical function. A set of dummy data whose only practical function
is to demonstrate that the software can run without crashing is not

Henning Makholm                 "Occam was a medieval old fart. The simplest
                     explanation that fits the facts is always, God did it."

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