Re: Status of Debian Policy
I cannot agree more. We should definatly add these fields to the
.deb package format! This will involve a bit of work, but will be
VERY worth it. No more licensing surprises, for instance.
Erik B. Andersen Web: http://www.inconnect.com/~andersen/
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> > TOPIC 8: packages have to specify their source urls
> > ---------------------------------------------------
> > STATUS: DISCUSSION
> In addition to what you propose below, I think that "dpkg -I" should be
> concerned with some of that info. Specifically, three important fields are
> Author: name and email of main upstream author (copyright holder)
> License: code describing license type
> Original-Site: site/URL at which the package is originally stored
> The "Author" field I think is important for giving due credit to whom
> rightfully deserves it. Some novice Debian users might think that the
> maintainer mentioned in "dpkg -I" is the author or the upstream maintainer.
> That is convenient for having users contact the Debian maintainer instead
> of bypassing them for the upstream author. However, I am convinced it is not
> fair for the "real authors" to create this confusion. Once the package is
> installed, users can check who the real author is, but they should be able
> to know it from the beginning.
> The License field shoud be a code taken from a list like the following:
> GPL LGPL BSD Artistic: we know what they are
> PD: public domain
> Freeware: free use and redistribution, according to Debian policy (this will
> be used only for packages which do not follow any of the types given
> Non-Free: does not comply with Debian definition of free software
> We could even go further and specify the type of non-free license.
> Common types are:
> packages containing sources
> Non-Commercial: free use and redistribution for non-commercial purposes
> Academic: free use and redistribution for academic/research purposes
> Non-Commercial-Academic: combination of previous types
> Source-Shareware: redistribution allowed, but payment for use expected
> Tidyware: free use, redistribution only in original form or if approved
> by author
> packages without sources
> Crippleware: crippled functionality, fully functional version must be purchased
> Demoware: time-bombed fully functional program
> Shareware: redistribution allowed, payment for use expected
> Promotional: free use for only some people or for some time only, or due to
> blatantly promotional reasons (like MSIE)
> Shyware: free use and redistribution of binaries, sources not available
> because author considers them still alpha.
> I don't think there are many more types. The precise terms should be available
> in the "copyright" file, but since most packages would fall in one of
> the previous categories, it would be really useful to have that shown
> in a concise way before installing a package.
> The "Original-Site" field could be optional, since it is not that necesary to
> know it in normal cases. Of course, it should always be mentioned in
> the "README.debian" file, as you propose.
> In summary, I think that at least the "Author" field should be added for
> ethical reasons and it would be convenient to add the "License" field.
> If you agree that this should be part of Debian policy then we should
> have the "dpkg" authors implement it.
> > It has been proposed that all packages should include some information
> > about where to get the upstream sources. Thus, I propose that we list
> > all pieces of information we want to have included in the
> > ``/usr/doc/*/README.debian'' files.
> > If we have a consensus about this, we could include a ``good example''
> > for a ``/usr/doc/*/README.debian'' file.
> > I propose that the following infos are listed in this file:
> > - Name and email address of current Debian maintainer
> > - specification about where to get the upstream sources
> > - short description of all major changes to the program
> > (for example, new command line options, changed locking
> > mechanism, major bug fixes, etc.)
> > - URL of ``official home page'' if there is one (optional)
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