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Re: [all candidates] Return to the desert island (cont.)

Jérémy Bobbio <lunar@debian.org> writes:

> In the lightning talks session of DebConf11, I presented [1] some wild
> thoughts about contrib, the Desert Island test, and some software Debian
> currently ship in main.

> To sum it up:

> 1. Some software Debian distribute are actually only useful when
>    connected to the Internet to access services for which the
>    source code is unavailable.

> 2. The Debian policy states (emphasis is mine):

>      # 2.2.2 The contrib archive area

>      The contrib archive area contains supplemental packages intended to
>      work with the Debian distribution, but **which require software
>      outside of the distribution to either build or function**.

>      Every package in contrib must comply with the DFSG.

> 3. One test I've been taught to use to reason about free software is the
>    Desert Island test [2] which starts by:

>      Imagine a castaway on a desert island with a solar-powered
>      computer.

>   Obviously, software that are only frontends to unreproducible “cloud”
>   services do not pass the desert island test.

As Steve pointed out, that's not the Desert Island Test.  But, on top of
that, note that free software interfaces to proprietary cloud platforms
are frequently used to manipulate the data in those platforms including
pull data *out* of those platforms.  It would be quite ironic if we
refused to include in the distribution the tools required to pull one's
data out of non-free platforms.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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