Technical board discussion of patent-encumbered media codecs in main

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Thu Mar 8 19:42:19 GMT 2007

On Thu, Mar 08, 2007 at 12:09:03PM -0500, Benj. Mako Hill wrote:
> We've sort of inherited Debian's "head in the sand" approach to media
> codecs. I'm not thrilled with this but the alternatives are all a huge
> mess and I haven't seen practical or principled reasons that are
> compelling enough to make me want to do deal with it.
> <quote who="Matt Zimmerman" date="Wed, Mar 07, 2007 at 10:42:52AM -0800">
> > I agree that it would be useful to blacklist packages from ship;
> > something like this happened in one of the early releases.
> I don't see any reason not to do this and to try to at least be
> consistent with it comes to particular algorithms and formats. I think
> some of the inconsistency is just mistakes or historical leftovers.

That's the trouble: it's hard to be consistent with a head-in-the-sand
approach, because that would involve standardizing the policy.

> > xmms is in main for (as far as I am concerned) historical reasons, and
> > should be moved to universe without much of a fuss.
> That sounds right to me.

I was mistaken here; it's already been removed from the seeds, but xmms-dev
is a build-dependency of a package in main, and xmms-dev depends on xmms.

So we can't really remove it unless we're willing to say that it's obsolete
and doesn't deserve a flac plugin.

 - mdz

More information about the ubuntu-archive mailing list