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

> But why have they to break? Afterall, it can "break" any package.

Things like the Linux kernel or OpenOffice will not just break.
Even if they do -- they can be fixed, because it is Free Software.

We cannot fix applications, that are dependent on non-free web services.

>> It is the same as depending on a non-free library. In the future more
>> packages will start depend on non-free web API, and a single change by
>> non-free provider will wipe out a major chunk of Debian. It will be very
>> costly then. Look what happened with xBSD family -- they were locked out
>> of the market for 3 years due to legal battle, and had to rewrite major
>> chunk of OS.
>> So we must act before bad things happen.
> I can't make any additional comments on this because it's still unclear
> to me what's the involved package(s) we are talking about and why you are
> so afraid it becomes dependant on a non-free API :-?

They are already dependent on non-free API.

Those packages:

$ cat allpackages-debian6.txt | grep -i
facebooklibjifty-plugin-authentication-facebook-perl (0.90000-1)
Facebook authentication plugin for Jiftylibwww-facebook-api-perl
(0.4.18-1) Facebook API implementationpidgin-facebookchat (1.67.1-1)
Facebook Chat plugin for Pidginpython-facebook (0.svn20100209-3)
Python wrappers for the Facebook APIpython2.5-facebook virtual package
provided by python-facebookpython2.6-facebook virtual package provided
by python-facebook
Using those packages is a real time-bomb.
I'm afraid that Free Software (KDE photo viewers) and browsers will
start depending on such APIs. Many developers are unwary of it's

Look here:

debian-legal tests for DFSG compliance - "The Desert Island test"
KDE 1 was dependent on non-free Qt1 library -- this was the reason of
a long fight within the community.

I can assure you that using non-free web APIs is *much* more risky
than non-free library, and consequences will be fatal. (10 years from
now it will result in huge code rewrites, wiping a big chunk of
Debian, if we don't take care now)

The problem -- is that those Web APIs will be massively used across
alll and any FOSS applications 10 years from now - as mandatory
modules, if FOSS developers not warned now.

What needs to be done - is to warn users and developers about risks,
to ensure they stay optional plug-ins, for users that want more
convenience but want to sacrifice Freedom.

The only difference is that the 'non-free library' is installed on
Facebook server this time, rather than on local machine. The
dependency effect is similar, and perhaps worse.

-Alexey Eromenko "Technologov"

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