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Bug#587279: debian-policy: section 2.2.1 needs some tweaking

Hi Bill,

On Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 02:15:19PM +0200, Bill Allombert wrote:

> I disagree that adding an explicit allowance for alternative is not a
> normative change. 
> The old wording (the package must not declare a "Depends", "Recommends", or
> "Build-Depends" relationship on a non-main package) is quite clear that
> alternative are not allowed.

> Part of the "non-free is not part of Debian" deal was that Debian (main)
> would not "advertize" non-free software. Allowing non-free software to be
> listed in the Depends/Recommends field breaks that. 

That has never been my understanding, but I wasn't around when the original
wording was drafted.  Do you have any pointers to list archives showing
discussions of this particular issue?

If it was really intended by the project in the past that packages in main
avoid any mention of non-free or contrib packages, even when these will not
be installed by default[1], then this seems to be a question for a GR and
not a matter of technical policy.  But it's news to me that this was ever
the intent.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

[1] BTW, what is the distinction you draw here between a non-free package
listed as a non-default alternative Depends, and a non-free package listed
in Suggests?  The latter has been permitted forever; indeed, the standard
fix for a package in main with a wrong Recommends on non-free is to demote
this relationship to a Suggests!

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