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Re: the ncurses "brushfire" -- anybody want to take over the project?

Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> I don't yet know.  I believe Debian's position on this is (a)
> unreasonable, and (b) not even internally consistent.  Are you going
> to also cease immediately distributing all of the important software
> released under the Artistic License and similar ones?

I don't think this is true.

All those licenses allow modifications (unless we've missed another one).

Debian is getting more consistent on this all of the time.  Obviously,
we weren't too consistent when ncurses got into the distribution,
with a license that doesn't permit modifications.  It looks like it
was introduced very early in the history of Debian, so it escaped
public scrutiny.

Maybe Bruce could send Eric a copy of the draft "social contract", just
so he can see how consistent we are trying to be.

I'm in favor of relegating ncurses to the non-free distribution, ASAP.
(for current hamm development)

dselect (our package selection tool) will have to be rewritten to use 
some other library.  This will probably take some time, though.  I'm
not sure how we will resolve having the core of our packaging system
dependent on a "non-free" package.  Maybe we're going to have to 
strip dselect out of the dpkg package, and put it into a separate
package to go into the "contrib" directory.  Ugly.

Of course, this can be reversed if Eric Raymond (and Zeyd M. Ben-Halim)
resolves the licensing situation - saving us a lot of work.


 - Jim

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