G. Pape
Debian Packages

Debian Packages - why unofficial

Several people asked me why my debian packages of Dan J Bernstein's software are not included in the Debian archive and so unofficial. This web page gives an answer to this question.
Software released by Dan J Bernstein does not comply with the Debian Policy (Section 2.1.1 and 10.1.1) and so can not go into main.
So why not put them into non-free?

I would upload them, if I were allowed to, but the Debian Policy (2.1.4) only states:

This covers the Debian Policy violation of section 2.1.1, but there is still the violoation of section 10.1.1 Filesystem Structure.
Why can closed source (e.g. acroread, netscape navigator, communicator) software be included in Debian non-free but not high quality, high secure open source software, that just puts it files into unusual places?

I can not answer this question, in my humble opinion, this Debian attitude is simply wrong, not at least because of security reasons and the Policy should be changed.

Inronically there are -src and -installer packages of some of Dan J Bernstein software (qmail-src, serialmail-src, ucspi-tcp-src, daemontools-installer, djbdns-installer), which do not include binaries, but are able to produce a not distributable debian package for local use. Some of these produced debs follow the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, some not, some do not follow the author's installation instruction. In my opinion, this leads into more problems than providing binary packages, see compatibilty.

To give you a small review on opinions of Debian maintainers, here are some links covering discussions about this topic: If you know more discussions about this topic, please let me know.
Gerrit Pape <pape@smarden.org>
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