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Re: non-free but distributable packages and kernel firmware

Scripsit Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au>
> Henning Makholm wrote:

>> Hmm. Does apt suppport having a Packages file separate from the pool
>> whose files it refers to?

> Yes; cf dists/ and pool/, or think back to when we were first doing
> pools and had some files in dists/ and some files in pool/.

Well, dists/ and pool/ are currently usually on the same ftp or http
server that you get the Packages file from. I was thinking of whether
it would be possible for a third party to publish an abridged Packages
file without also himself mirroring the .debs it refers to.

>> It would be cool to be able to generate Packages files for one's
>> particular combination of freedoms-I-care-about-personally, and
>> then fetch the files from a general mirror.

> For that you'd want to download the Packages file for non-free, then
> have apt or aptitude/etc filter out the stuff you're not interested
> in. Which would probably be a useful feature anyway, of course.

I was speculating about the possibility of doing the filtering
_before_ the gets the file.

> It's not likely to be one that'd be acceptable to the FSF-types
> though; there's a big difference between:
>   deb http://blah/debian etch main fsf-free
> and
>   deb http://blah/debian etch main non-free
> if you're a free software hacker who just happens to have a different
> idea of what freedoms are important to Debian's.

Hm, I don't personally think we should care much about the kind of FSF
types who get all uptight about which possibilities we offer to
*other* people and how we describe it. But it would be a good thing
for us to support people who would like an FSF filter for the packages
on their *own* box rather than the default Debian filter.

>>>That's kinda kludgy for the "free-software /
>>>free-software-and-firmware" tags, afaics.

>> Could you elaborate on that? I don't really get which kludginess you
>> are referring to -

> It just feels backwards; count the negatives in "I don't care about
> non-free firmware" and "I don't care about non-free non-software",

Ok, I see that. Not sure how to fix it, though.

Henning Makholm                        "I ... I have to return some videos."

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