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Re: lintian-warning copyright-lists-upstream-authors-like-dh_make


By way of preface, I really meant to make the general observation that
"help" text -- like package descriptions -- should be carefully
crafted.  My intention is not to pick on the author of this particular
text (I'm surely guilty of equally-bad phrasing).  And yes, I know
that this particular text has already been removed.

On Tue, Oct 02, 2001 at 10:55:04AM +0200, Josip Rodin wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 01, 2001 at 03:17:09PM -0400, Steve M. Robbins wrote:
> > > W: prips: copyright-lists-upstream-authors-like-dh_make
> > > N:
> > > N:   There is "Upstream Author(s)" in your copyright file. This is not a
> > > N:   fixed field name, it's just a default dh_make value. You should adjust
> > > N:   it.
> > > N:
> > 
> > ... this "long description" is spectacularly uninformative!
> Er, what else is there to say but that what I said above? 

Well to start with, there is no need to mention "dh_make".  I
understand that one source of this "error" comes from copying the
dh_make template verbatim.  But for other folks who just copied
another copyright file --- and have never used dh_make --- the
reference is puzzling red herring.

> It says that you
> should adjust the string "Upstream Author(s)" in your copyright file, isn't
> it obvious? And isn't it obvious that it is left to you to change it the way
> you like it[1], since there is no specific format mentioned?

Well, no.  It's not obvious to me.  

Already in the first sentence, I am unsure whether you mean the string
"Upstream Author(s)", or the actual authors listed in my copyright
file.  In the second line, I'm confused what "dh_make" has to do with
it.  And what "dh_make value" is being referred to?  By now I'm so
confused that I don't know what "it" refers to in the final sentence.

There were already a couple of good clarifications in the -mentors
thread.  As I understand it, the intent is to say

	Do not use "Upstream Author(s)" in the copyright file.  Use
	either "Upstream Author" or, if there are multiple authors,
	"Upstream Authors".


by Rocket to the Moon,
by Airplane to the Rocket,
by Taxi to the Airport,
by Frontdoor to the Taxi,
by throwing back the blanket and laying down the legs ...
- They Might Be Giants

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