Debian includes those because there hasn't been a huge reason not to. There's been discussion about removing some of them, and some thoughts about removing 1.4 -- it's definitely only in Debian for users' convenience, not because other things in Debian depend on it.
Copyright © 2017, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds