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

On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 10:35 AM, Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> wrote:
> Bart Martens <bartm@debian.org> writes:
>> On Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 05:09:00PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
>>> 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.
>> An interface to facebook or to twitter or to the internet movie database
>> or to websites with stock quotes may be freely redistributed but
>> "requires software outside of the distribution to function".  Why do we
>> make exceptions depending on how "ironic" things are ?
> Because, similar to how all evil plans for taking over the world should be
> run past a fifth grader first, all grand principles of ideology should be
> checked for whether their actual outcomes are silly.

I think the outcome of moving a package that falls in the "requires
external stuff" from main to contrib would rarely qualify as silly.

Take for example the twitter perl packages.  The API is changing (of
course that is something outside of Debian's control,).  As a
consequence, those packages are now up for removal from testing (since
they're going to be broken for an entire stable release):

If instead those packages were in contrib, which is of course
considered not supported, if/when those external interfaces break,
then at least the user knew upfront that they were taking a risk that
their unsupported software may someday break.  Part of the nuance is
living up to user expectations.

Best wishes,

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