Defining Free Software Business

MJ Ray mjr at
Tue Jun 27 06:27:03 UTC 2006

I'm heartily sick of this.  I think I'm going to stop replying
after the email below, but the third paragraph warrants a reply.
I think this has shown what GBN-pragmatism is up against, sadly.

Alfred M. Szmidt <ams at>
>    The packages that make up Debian MUST NOT recommend or depend upon
>    non-free software (this is part of debian-policy s2.2.1).  Saying
>    otherwise is lying, plain and simple.
> Now you are really deluding yourself.  There are lots of packages that
> recommend and depend on non-free software in Debian, namley you have
> the whole non-free repository, and then you have contrib which is
> meant for software that depends on non-free software.  Then you have
> packages in main that either depend or recommend non-free packages.

non-free and contrib are not part of Debian.  Any packages in
Debian which depend or recommend non-free are seriously buggy
and will be fixed or removed.

> I'll give you examples even, first thing that I found: krusader,
> clamav, file-roller, amavisd-new in main suggests lha from non-free.

None of that list depend on or recommend lha at this time.
See footnote 1 for what they do depend on and recommend.

> Before you start calling me a liar, I suggest you stop taking whatever
> drugs your doctor subscribed you.

None of my drugs are mindbenders.  Are yours?  Seems like it!
I am really disappointed that anyone on this list was insane
enough to write that. It is this "you disagree, so go harm
yourself" style of argument that gives FSF fans a bad name.

It is a lie that packages in Debian which depend on or recommend
non-free, apart from bugs.  If one doesn't want to be called a
liar, one should not lie and defame friendly projects like that.
You can try to make sure you're not lying by checking facts
before sending messages.  See whether what you're sending has
any basis in reality, or is directly contradicted by it.

>    When debian finds non-free software in the distribution, it is
>    promptly removed.  No difference, but a double standard.
> No, it gets put into another place, called non-free.  It doesn't get
> removed.  Non-free is part of Debian.  You redefining that it isn't
> just so you can feel good about it is just sad.

Lie.  I've not redefined it and it is removed from debian.
Again, no evidence that debian was redefined.  I remember one
attempt to redefine it to be the project rather than the product,
but that justly failed.

Previously, many debian developers were quite relaxed about
people using Debian to mean the project, the machines or the
developers, as well as the operating system.  I think this sort
of nonsense shows that was probably a mistake.  It's damn messy
putting this toothpaste back in the tube, and some FSF fans
squeezing every chance they get is a big problem.  Why don't
they do something useful, like tell FSF to stop recommending
"Konqueror, IE" for viewing on ?

I guess this means that I should strongly support a cautious
approach to which firms or products get labelled as GBN-approved,
as I think some FSF fans are pretty unforgiving.

Best wishes,
MJ Ray - personal email, see
Work:  Jabber/SIP ask


1. apt-cache show krusader clamav file-roller amavisd-new | grep -E 'Package|Version|Depends|Recommends'

Package: krusader
Version: 1.70.0-1
Depends: kdelibs4c2a (>= 4:3.5.1-3), libacl1 (>= 2.2.11-1), libart-2.0-2 (>= 2.3.16), libattr1 (>= 2.4.4-1), libaudio2, libc6 (>= 2.3.5-1), libfam0, libfontconfig1 (>= 2.3.0), libfreetype6 (>= 2.1.5-1), libgcc1 (>= 1:4.0.2), libice6, libidn11 (>= 0.5.18), libjpeg62, libkjsembed1 (>= 4:3.4.3), libkonq4 (>= 4:3.5.1-1), libpcre3 (>= 4.5), libpng12-0 (>= 1.2.8rel), libqt3-mt (>= 3:3.3.5), libsm6, libstdc++6 (>= 4.0.2-4), libx11-6, libxcursor1 (>> 1.1.2), libxext6, libxft2 (>> 2.1.1), libxi6, libxinerama1, libxrandr2, libxrender1 (>= 1:, libxt6, zlib1g (>= 1:1.2.1)

Package: clamav
Version: 0.88.2-1
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.3.6-6), libclamav1 (>= 0.88.2), zlib1g (>= 1:1.2.1), clamav-freshclam | clamav-data
Recommends: arj, unzoo

Package: file-roller
Version: 2.14.3-1
Depends: libatk1.0-0 (>= 1.9.0), libbonobo2-0 (>= 2.13.0), libc6 (>= 2.3.6-6), libcairo2 (>= 1.0.2-2), libfontconfig1 (>= 2.3.0), libgconf2-4 (>= 2.13.5), libglade2-0 (>= 1:2.5.1), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.10.0), libgnome2-0 (>= 2.14.1), libgnomeui-0 (>= 2.8.0), libgnomevfs2-0 (>= 2.13.92), libgtk2.0-0 (>= 2.8.0), libnautilus-extension1 (>= 2.14.0), liborbit2 (>= 1:2.10.0), libpango1.0-0 (>= 1.12.1), libpopt0 (>= 1.7), libx11-6, libxcursor1 (>> 1.1.2), libxext6, libxfixes3, libxi6, libxinerama1, libxrandr2, libxrender1, gconf2 (>= 2.10.1-2), tar (>= 1.13.25), bzip2 (>= 1.0.1), gzip (>= 1.3.2), unzip, zip
Recommends: sharutils, lzop, rpm, arj, p7zip, mkisofs

Package: amavisd-new
Version: 1:2.4.1-1
Depends: debconf | debconf-2.0, adduser (>= 3.34), file, libmime-perl (>= 5.417), libmime-perl (<< 5.4.19) | libmime-perl (>= 5.420), libconvert-tnef-perl (>= 0.06), libconvert-uulib-perl (>= 1.0.5), libcompress-zlib-perl (>= 1.35), libarchive-tar-perl, libarchive-zip-perl (>= 1.14), libmailtools-perl (>= 1.58), libunix-syslog-perl, libnet-perl (>= 1:1.16), libnet-server-perl, libtime-hires-perl, libdigest-md5-perl, libmime-base64-perl, libio-stringy-perl, libberkeleydb-perl, perl (>= 5.6.0-16)

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