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Re: Do the HPPA "binary-only" NMUs violate the GPL?



>As the one doing a fair percentage of these uploads, here is the logic I
>was given by some porters (who have done other architectures) when they
>told me to do binary NMU's with a patch in the BTS.

Sure.  Binary-only NMUs from modified source have always been a useful 
technique for getting a new port off the ground, or for quickly fixing a 
grave but port-specific bug in an important package.  But they do break the 
assumption that you can do "apt-get source ..; dpkg-buildpackage" to 
reconstruct an equivalent binary package, which could be a nuisance if there 
is a risk that these packages might end up in a release.

It sounds like these modified binary NMUs might have become a standard modus 
operandi for HPPA, and this definitely isn't a precedent that ought to be set.
Unless there's a real benefit to doing a binary-only upload compared to a 
source upload (say you changed your MANIFEST file for xfree86 and don't want 
to force every other arch to do a wasted recompile) it would be better to 
follow the documented procedure and either do a full source NMU, or just file 
a bug and let the maintainer upload a new package.  In particular, it seems
fairly inappropriate to do a modified binary NMU and mark it "urgency=low".

p.


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