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Bug#340704: marked as done (rar support violates DFSG #4)



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and subject line Bug#340704: rar support violates DFSG #4
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From: Robert Millan <rmh@aybabtu.com>
To: Debian Bug Tracking System <submit@bugs.debian.org>
Subject: rar support violates DFSG #4
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Package: ark
Severity: serious
Justification: DFSG #4

This package has a "Suggests: rar" tag.  If it has the functionality to create
rar archives via rar, this is a serious problem, because it is encouraging users
to create "trap archives" that can't be extracted with free software.  I believe
this is a violation of DFSG #4 ("Our priorities are our users and free
software") since we put:

  - A minority of our users (those who use rar to publish data).

before:

  - The majority of our users (who can't extract the data in a pure Debian
    system).
  - The free software community, for which trap archive formats are seriously
    detrimental.

OTOH, if this package is only using rar to extract these archives, then it'd be
better to use the unrar package instead (in that case severity of this bug
should be lowered).

-- System Information:
Debian Release: testing/unstable
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (500, 'unstable')
Architecture: i386 (i686)
Shell:  /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash
Kernel: Linux 2.6.12-1-k7
Locale: LANG=en_US, LC_CTYPE=en_US (charmap=ANSI_X3.4-1968) (ignored: LC_ALL set to C)

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>From luk@debian.org Fri Nov 25 02:58:04 2005
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Message-ID: <4386EDD5.8010500@debian.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 11:56:21 +0100
From: Luk Claes <luk@debian.org>
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To: 340704-done@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#340704: rar support violates DFSG #4
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-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Robert Millan wrote:
> Package: ark
> Severity: serious
> Justification: DFSG #4
> 
> This package has a "Suggests: rar" tag.  If it has the functionality to create
> rar archives via rar, this is a serious problem, because it is encouraging users
> to create "trap archives" that can't be extracted with free software.  I believe
> this is a violation of DFSG #4 ("Our priorities are our users and free
> software") since we put:

Note that it's only a "Suggests", so the package doesn't need rar to
work properly. I don't see why you think it encourages users to use rar,
nor why we should make it harder for them to use these archives if they
choose to use it.

>   - A minority of our users (those who use rar to publish data).
> 
> before:
> 
>   - The majority of our users (who can't extract the data in a pure Debian
>     system).
>   - The free software community, for which trap archive formats are seriously
>     detrimental.

This would only be the case if ark's main focus was working on rar
archives and especially building rar archives, which is not the case.
You do know that you *can* also use other free software to discriminate
users for whatever reason...

> OTOH, if this package is only using rar to extract these archives, then it'd be
> better to use the unrar package instead (in that case severity of this bug
> should be lowered).

I don't see any reason why this Suggests would not comply with policy as
only Depends and Recommends should be in main and the package works
properly without the rar command (though you need rar if you want to
work with rar archives). Note that the unrar package does only exist in
oldstable (woody/non-free), so this would not solve anything!

I'm closing this bug as it can only be a wishlist bug IMHO.

Cheers

Luk

PS: You are talking about DFSG #5 while calling it DFSG #4...
PS2: Feel free to reopen this bug with a wishlist severity.
- --
Luk Claes - http://people.debian.org/~luk - GPG key 1024D/9B7C328D
Fingerprint:   D5AF 25FB 316B 53BB 08E7   F999 E544 DE07 9B7C 328D
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