Subject: Re: GNU License for Hardware
From: Ben_Tilly@trepp.com
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 18:31:26 -0400


Jesus Gonzalez wrote:
>    I'm sorry to disagree, but at least *all* packages in main
> section of Debian are available in source form. A great effort is
> being made in Debian to be sure that everything in main can be
> distributed in source and binary forms. And it is.

What about contrib and non-free?  Apt has to be able to deal
with that issue.

Additionally the division of source packages in main does not
match the division of binary packages.  For instance key parts
of the smb-mount package are in the general Samba source.
(Such as the C program for that hooks into the kernel.)  That is
because while the smb-mount package has a separate Debian
maintainer, in the rest of the Linux world that is an unsupported
package included in the Linux source.  (Possibly no longer
unsupported in the next Samba release, I will look forward to
that change..)

So if everything is available in source form, but the contents of
the source packages do not match the binary ones, then asking
for the source of each binary package is not easy to automate.

Additionally we still have not dealt with the verification issue.
How do we verify that the binary package you see was really
compiled from the distributed source...?

These are not unresolvable problems.  But they are not trivial
either.  And Debian does not currently resolve them.

Sincerely,
Ben