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Re: General Resolution: Handling of the non-free section: proposedBallot

On Sat, Mar 06, 2004 at 05:48:23PM +1100, Hamish Moffatt wrote:
> Don't trivialise "on debian.org" to just an /etc/apt/sources.list entry
> though. The advantage IMHO to having Debian host non-free packages is
> quality control such as
> 1. Bug tracking though bugs.debian.org;
> 2. Developers vetted and a GPG trust path guaranteed through
>    the new maintainer process;
> 3. Non-free packages must meet same Debian policy as free packages,
> etc.
> Some here claim that #1 is trivial to replicate. I'm not convinced about
> the other points though.

Actually, I think that only #1 is not trivial, in the case of
reassigning bugs between main and non-free. Now personally, I don't
believe that there are a lot of examples for this, but I don't have any
data to back this up. I asked Colin Watson about this some days ago, and
he said it would be rather difficult to get hard data on this.

If anybody wants to tackle this, that would be great and very useful,

In any case, just closing and reopening the bug (possibly with the full
bug log attached) should work. I'm not sure about this, but I think that
even today bugs reassigned from non-free to main (especially toolchain)
packages are sometimes not considered to be equal by the maintainer,
depending on the character of the bug and the non-free package in

Now, ad 2.:

That's pretty easy, just use the debian-keyring to authenticate and
perhaps (but that's outside the scope of what debian.org can set as
policy) also let identified people with a trustpath to a DD contribute,
possibly requiring being recommended by an AM in the NM process.

That's purely a social problem, the technology is there.

ad 3.:

You'd have a BTS for this, just as for the real Debian.

> I see other people such as David Schleef who are not registered
> developers volunteering to help. "Additional developers, such as
> myself, would be willing to work on non-free packages, *provided that
> they are outside of Debian*." That's nice but we don't have any trust
> path to Dave or verification of his skills etc.

Well, *I* will definetely not upload non-free packages to
ftp.debian.org, simply to prevent the strenghtening of it. While I'd
probably would not upload non-free packages to non-free.org either, I
might change my opinion in case of binary-only drivers I'd have a need

One thing I did not quite made my mind up on yet is contrib. There are a
couple of Fortran90 programs I would like to see packaged, but there's
no free Fortran90 compiler (yet). I don't think I will upload them to
ftp.debian.org; but then, I don't know whether this would be appropriate
for non-free.org, either.

> Ultimately a separate non-free.org will not be as useful.

Well, dunno. For me, removing non-free from ftp.debian.org is an
ethical imperative, and thus I'd consider a seperate non-free.org
pretty useful.


Michael Banck
Debian Developer

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