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Re: Moving contrib and non-free of master.debian.org

On Wed, Jun 23, 1999 at 07:28:29AM +1000, Hamish Moffatt wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 22, 1999 at 03:28:23PM +0100, Giuliano Procida wrote:
> > [...] There are items in contrib which do not depend on
> > items in Debian's non-free archive, but do instead depend on
> > externally available non-free items. Two obvious examples are:
> > 
> > 1. installer/helpers for commercial or other non-free apps; and
> > 2. free emulators that require ROM images for normal use.
> > 
> > I strongly object to any move of contrib. I formally oppose any
> > voting proposal to that effect (should this mean anything).
> contrib has always been treated as unofficial, same as non-free.
> Why should this change now? 

Untrue! (Social Contract section 5 is misleading) You may have always
treated contrib as "unofficial" but it is often fully supported GPL
software. Plenty of other people do not share your view. Put another
way, you may lump contrib with non-free, plenty of people lump it with
main (they are both DFSG). I believe the fact that the source is DSFG
is more important than the existence of any dependency on currently
encumbered items. See http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages as well.

> With both your examples above, you still can't use the stuff for free.

I assume you mean something like "most people can't use the stuff
without some other currently non-free item". Even so, they are
genuinly useful:

Foo Emulator: used for development of a free OS for platform Foo (I do
know of some OS devel for the C64). [[aside: should be in main anyway
but some people objected. :) Foo Emulator is free to someone who owns
a Foo, it should be free for everyone, even if they cannot make full
use of it, they can always adapt it to make a free Bar. (Try saying
the same thing with s/Foo Emulator/ATM NIC device driver/ - it makes

Foo Frontend: used with development versions of free alternatives to
Foo and will become "main" as soon as a replacement is available (PGP
and GnuPG things, for example).

Foo Client: used to aid development of a free server for Foo (some are
already in "main" despite the heated argument of a few weeks ago about
ICQ/CDDB clients).

Any attempt to move contrib will stir up another discussion as to what
it should contain. I am sure that RMS can be satisfied without us
having to introduce politically-correct.debian.org, mirroring is
complicated enough as it is.


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