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Bug#141206: Ghostscript: Copyright problem, possible reorg, upcoming maintainer change

Package: gs-common
Severity: serious

Hi *, 

I am filing this bug/writing this mail because there is a big problem
in the gs packages in woody which needs fixing before release. I would
like to get comments on the changes I want to implement. 

Currently I maintain the following set of Ghostscript packages: 

- gs, gs-aladdin:

  These contain the real Ghostscript interpreters, gs the GPL and gs-aladdin
  the AFPL version.

- gs-common: 

  This package was added by me to remove the wrapper scripts around gs
  from the main packages as I wanted to be able to have both installed
  at the same time which makes my work a little easier.

  Now I copied the wrapper scripts from the gs-aladdin source and iirc
  modified them a bit to make them more robust. My goal was to completely
  rewrite these scripts to support spaces in filenames and the like. As
  often I never got to it due to time constraints.

  This package also contains the defoma support which was originally 
  included in both gs and gs-aladdin packages and used to be broken for
  at least one of them so I wanted to remove the duplication.

- gsfonts:

  This package contains the basic fonts for Ghostscript. Quoting the
  Postscript Language Reference: "While there is not a standard set of 
  fonts that is required by the PostScript language, most PostScript 
  products include software for 13 standard fonts from the Times, Helvetica, 
  Courier, and Symbol families."

  Therefore it would make sense to have gs depend on gsfonts, as most
  software expects to have these fonts available, which is already
  implemented in woody. 

My problems with the current setup are

a) gs-common contains files with non-DFSG license (and does not even document
   that as it is still missing a copyright file)
b) The manpages for the scripts in gs-common are missing
c) gs-common and gs/gs-aladdin depend on each other (not really an issue
   for our packaging tools, but still)

What I would like to do is

a) remove the scripts from gs-common
b) install them in both gs and gs-aladdin with a suffix and manage them
   as slave links to the gs alternative

That would leave gs-common with only the defoma support. Now I was thinking
about moving that to gsfonts, but that could become a problem if a user 
decides to replace gsfonts with something else (like another 
gsfonts-supporting package with cyrillic that is in preparation afaik, or
by using equivs) will break the font support of gs.

gs-common really needs a versioned dependency on gsfonts since older 
versions of that package used to contain a fixed fontmap in /etc/gs.Fontmap
(symlinked to /usr/lib/ghostscript/fonts/Fontmap). OTOH that setup
should still work, it would just break defoma configuration of gs fonts.

Anyway, this mail is already too long. I wonder how much of this can be
implemented for woody.

Finally I want to acknowledge that I have failed in maintaining gs. It is
a package too complex for the time frame I currently have to work with. 
I wanted to get the bug list down to a few forwarded upstream before the
freeze which I obviously did not manage to do. Therefore I am going to 
step down as the maintainer of gs.

Ralph Giles will probably take over the packages from me when he got 
used to the Debian packaging tools. He is working on Ghostscript for
Artifex as the maintainer of GNU Ghostscript so he will be a much better
maintainer for this beast than I was.

Thanks for reading


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