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Re: mICQ roundup

On Sat, Feb 15, 2003 at 10:36:02PM +0100, R?diger Kuhlmann wrote:
> today I was contacted by madkiss on ICQ, and we resolved our issues. I

It is good to here that you resolved your issues with madkiss.

Now to see if you can resolve it as far as some other Debian Developers
are concerned, that might be harder...

Good luck...

> here. There's also the reputation of mICQ at stake. Does Debian improve the
> reputation of mICQ by shipping an old version of mICQ? Does Debian improve

This is standard Debian policy, the theory being that the old version is
the more tested version.

The ideal solution would be to have more frequent releases, but that
is another can of worms I don't want to get into here.

Another "solution" is to make it as easy as possible for somebody to
take mICQ from unstable and recompile it on a stable computer. eg. don't
require features from the latest versions of libc6, gcc, autotools, etc
(note: I have not looked at the source for mICQ).

> the reputation of mICQ by shipping a version with an extremely annyoing bug
> that could trivially be fixed, and refusing to fix it several times? Does
> Debian improve my reputation as an OSS software author by removing my name
> from the copyright file? Does Debian improve its own reputation by shipping
> a version of mICQ that because of the last point isn't even legal to
> distribute, though Debian is so extremely retinent about free vs non-free?
> Doesn't Debian try to destroy my reputation by accusing me of things I
> didn't do? Think about it. And think about the update procedures in stable.

<my opinion only/>

I think breaking the copyright in anyway constitutes a release criticial
bug (unless we want to risk legal action being taken), and fixing it,
even in the stable version shouldn't break anything, because it is only
a documentation change.

If for some reason fixing the problem in the stable version is not
acceptable, then the package needs to be removed from stable.

Perhaps filing a bug against ftp.debian.org "please remove mICQ from
stable due to breach of copyright" ('X-Debbugs-CC'ed to the package
maintainer) would have been a sane (if not rather extreme) thing to do?

(note: I am note sure of the etiquette involved with removing a package
you do not maintain like this; surely it can't be as bad as inserting a
message in the code in any case).
Brian May <bam@debian.org>

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