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Re: Debian for third party (read: propietary) apps/vendors


On 24/03/13 at 15:47 -0300, Lisandro Damián Nicanor Pérez Meyer wrote:
> There are third party vendors (read: propietary) that support the installation 
> of their software in Debian, but mostly because selfish reasons: they need to 
> be present everywhere for their business model to work. A clear example of 
> this is Skype.
> Now there is a second class of apps/vendors which do not need to be ubiquitous
> for their business model to work. Most of the examples that come to my mind 
> are CAD-related: Synopsys [0], Cadence [1] and Mentor [2] are examples of 
> propietary vendors that give support for Linux but just on Red Hat and 
> sometimes, Suse. And they are a PITA to make them work on Debian. This makes 
> IT workers need to have RH/Suse/CentOS boxes even if the rest of them run 
> Debian.
> Sometimes the Debian support is a *.deb made from the RPM packages with alien, 
> but this is just a small rant :-)
> [0] <http://www.synopsys.com/home.aspx>
> [1] <http://www.cadence.com/us/pages/default.aspx>
> [2] <http://www.mentor.com/>
> Now my question is: without going against the Social Contract, is there 
> anything Debian can/should do wrt this situation?

First, I'd like to extend the question a bit.
- Yes, not everything is packaged in Debian
- Yes, some people are providing software by other means:
  + Debian packages distributed outside Debian
  + static binary packages
  + scripts that download and install the whole world
  + etc.

As Moray said, we should advertise more heavily why it's useful to
package for Debian. But I think that we should also aim at making it
easier to:
- package that software as proper Debian packages
- distribute that software inside Debian (when it is legally possible)

That means:
- providing more/better documentation about packaging
- providing easier access paths to Debian (e.g. facilitate finding a

(I elaborated on that in other mails, so I'm not going to do it here
again :) )


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