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"Official CD" screwups (Was: Why only one non-free section?)



On Mon, Sep 14, 1998 at 09:27:10AM -0400, Peter S Galbraith wrote:
> >  Raul> But note that contrib is being packaged as an official part of Debian.
> > 
> > 	A small nit. It is being packaged on the official CD, but is
> >  not an official part of Debian. 
> 
> I have the LSL Ofiicial CD and it doesn't contain contrib.
> I had to buy a Gold CDR to get contrib on CD...

All right, I am REALLY becoming annoyed at seeing this.

Infomagic, Cheapbytes, and LSL have all managed to over the small course of
Debian history that I am personally aware of totally SCREW UP the Debian CDs
and call them "Official" anyway.  And it's just them that I know about! 
This is EXTREMELY frustrating.

To the vendors:  I know it was not your intention to screw up the CDs.  I
realize there is really no policy covering "official" CDs, so I'm not out to
get you or anything.  The mention of your names is not meant to say that you
are bad, but to reflect the severity of the need to do something about the
problem.  Please take no offense as none is intended.


It has come to my attention that we simply CANNOT allow vendors to build a
CD with whatever arbitrary structure they want and call it "Official"
Debian.  Too often, the CDs are published, sold, and then found to be
broken.  This NEEDS to be resolved before Debian makes one more release,
even if that release is just updates to the hamm (2.0) Debian release.

I see a few options at this time, some of them do not solve the problem.

	1. We can ask the vendors to not refer to their CD-ROM distributions
	   as "official" unless they are direct burns or presses of the
	   official CD-ROM images available at cdimage.debian.org and
	   mirrors.
	2. We can leave things as they are now and hope users aren't too
	   confused by the whole mess and/or the vendors do not make many of
	   these mistakes they have done with hamm anymore.
	3. We can allow the official images or any images made from the
	   debian-cd package scripts to be called official.  If we do this,
	   we should create debian-cd .tar.gz archives for non-debian
	   machines.  If I recall correctly, these scripts are machine
	   architecture independant (perl or make or something like that, I
	   haven't looked recently) so we wouldn't have to deal with archs.
	4. We can ask people to stop using "Official" in connection to
	   Debian CDs at all.  Only the primary mirrors' contents would be
	   considered official if we did this.
	5. Don't let ANYONE call their image "Official" without sending a
	   Debian developer CDs to test first.  Would any of the great
	   hordes of us who aren't Johnnie or some of the others with Debian
	   mirrors on our hard drives <g> care to volunteer?  I know I
	   certainly would.
	6. Write a specification of what makes a CD image "official" and
	   what is expected to be on the CDs and where.  On one hand we have
	   to rely on someone reading this file, but on the other this
	   allows the vendors to place little blurbs on the CD.  Note there
	   should also be explanation of what can NOT be on Official CDs,
	   non-free software for example.  We might point out that it is
	   acceptable for them to include redistributable non-free packages
	   on additional CD(s) if they choose to bundle with Official
	   Debian, or that they can make unofficial/custom dists.
	7. We can find some company who would like to bundle printed
	   documentation with Debian Official images in a shrinkwrap box and
	   call that Official.  This would be good, but it would imply that
	   only this commercial distribution of Debian is official.  That
	   would clearly be bad as most will agree.


I want opinions, additional creative ideas, discussion of the ideas I've
brought up, or anything else people have to offer.  And not just from
developers either.  I'd like to hear from users, vendors, and anyone else
who cares to comment, it doesn't matter as long as we come to some kind of
solution to what really seems to be a problem to me at least.

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