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Asking for maintainer for astronomical packages and some important (and related) issues



Hi there,

Since I'm overloaded with work (in and out of Debian) I'm considering
orphaning a number of packages related to astronomy, they are:
- openuniverse
- starplot
- spacechart
- yale 
and
- gliese

The first three are GUIs to view astronomical date whileas the last 
two include astronomic data themselves. There is a reason for separating 
both, mainly that the legal status for this data files is not all too clear.

I would rather given them all to the same person than breaking them up,
since I expect that a prospective maintainer would take care of 
the following issues:

1.- Copyright issues, these impact on quite a number of 
astronomical-related packages. 

I made the decision of breaking the star catalogs into packages 
into non-free but others have not (see bug #174456 - which details 
some of the copyright issues).

This issue should be pursued to:

	- determine wether or not the star data can be distributed in
	  main (I have a number of mails that need pursuing)

	- contact maintainers to coordinate the use of a single data
	  package instead of having the same star catalogs in every
	  astronomical packages (maybe even ask for a 
	  'star-catalog' virtual package that all could provide)

This issue needs to be coordinated with other maintainers since other
packages (like kstars?) might be affected.

2.- New releases (bug #169603 - startplot new version and
bug #172203 - spacechart new release mainly) although the data files
might need to be updated (haven't checked)

3.- The issue on wether to keep or remove openuniverse
(its no longer maintained upstream, and maintainers have moved to
improve celestia but it's not a full replacement for it). The 
relevant thread in debian-devel starts here:
http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2002/debian-devel-200212/msg01597.html

4.- Determine if a new section should be created for astronomic-related
packages. Some are in section 'science' some in section 'math'...

Of course, maintainers should also consider checking out
bugs #188183 (gstar package, now orphaned), #170824 (celestia is now
also orphaned) and #173440 (an ITP for yet another astronomy 
program: nightfall) in order to make a coordinated action. Writting an
astronomy-related mini-policy for Debian could be in order.

So, after all this rant, any takers? (I hope somebody raises his hand) :-)

Regards

Javi



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