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Tue, 30 Jun 2009

Dear Richard,

in answer to your open letter Why free software shouldn't depend on Mono or C# I like to explain a small misunderstanding that seems to have been spread pretty wide recently.

Debian has not to include Mono in the default installation, for the sake of Tomboy. The default installation – or to be more precise: The default GNOME installation (there are installation media which install an KDE, Xfce or LXDE desktop by default, too) – hasn't changed. It still installs a more or less minimal Gnome Desktop without tomboy and without mono. As far as I know there haven't been major changes in package selection for the GNOME installation media, nor are there major changes planed.

What really has changed is that one of our meta packages, which are mainly used to install a set of packages. Indeed our meta package to install everything gnome related got a dependency on Tomboy and will indeed pull in mono, too.

That doesn't have any effect on the default installation (which doesn't use that package) nor does it effect a major part of Debian's GNOME users, who prefer to install gnome-desktop (a meta package to pull in a simple GNOME Desktop) or even the gnome-core meta-package (which installs the bare necessities to run GNOME applications). Please see the numbers at our popularity contest system for yourself.

So, Debian didn't change the default installation (whatever that's supposed to be) but the dependency of a package which is used by a minority of our users who explicitly wishes to install everything GNOME related (which is to the best of my knowledge in accordance with upstream developers who added tomboy to the default GNOME installation, too).

Yours truly,
Alexander Reichle-Schmehl
Debian Developer and Spokesperson

Update: Due to some missunderstandings, I wrote a more verbose post about the whole situation.

postet at 15:45 into [Debian] permanent link


Alexander Tolimar Reichle-Schmehl lives in Tuttlingen / Germany. He works as IT manager (specialized on Unix and SAN/Storage) for an international automotive supplier.