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Re: Are Web-API packages need to be in the 'main' repo ?

On Sun, 04 Dec 2011 11:36:57 +0200, Alexey Eromenko wrote:

> Debian 6.0 (Squeeze) ships packages 

What package(s), specifically?

> that integrate with web services (called in modern term 'Cloud
> Computing' or SaaS, 'Software-as-a-Service' if you will), such as the
> Facebook API. What if Facebook decides to close down it's APIs
> tomorrow ? Will Debian drop those packages from 6.0-stable release ?

This can happen with any other software package, being an API or not, I'm 

In such case, I think the package that start using a non-free license 
would be removed from "main" repo and if the new license permits, put on 
non-free repo. In non-free repo is neither an option, only the lastest 
version that keeps an open license compatible with DFSG will remain 

> I'm not saying such packages must not exist in Debian. They should.
> But (!) those packages interface non-free web services, which is
> politically no different than non-free software. Technically even worse,
> because web-software is likely to break at any moment, change APIs, or
> close down free access to it, and demand either NDA contracts or
> fee-based licensing.
> Perhaps they should be moved to 'contrib' category, because they
> interface non-free web-services. Debian's 'main' repository seems not
> the right place for any such web APIs.
> [1] Debian project clarifies the diff. between 'main' and 'contrib'
> here:
> http://www.isotton.com/software/debian/docs/repository-howto/repository-howto.html
> What's your opinion ?

I'm in the opinion of acting when/if something changes, not before. If 
the packages are now in "main" it's because there is no reason to put 
them in another section, right? :-)

And I'm not saying that this kind of things shouldn't be discussed, on the 
contrary, I'd keep tracking any application that is susceptible of 
changing its mind. Also, CC'ing to "debian-legal" could be a good idea.



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