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Re: PROPOSAL: debian/control file to include new License: field

Jari Aalto <jari.aalto@cante.net> writes:

> To my understanding the only way to obtain the license information for a
> package is to actually download it (or install it) and the study the
> content of

>     /usr/share/doc/<package>/copyright

> It would be better if user could use the packaging search commands, like

>     grep-dctrl -F License ... --and -F package ...

Out of curiosity, why?  What problem are you trying to solve?


> Add new field to the debian/control (which would be generated by
> dh-make):

>     License:

> It would contain a canonicalized word to describe the license in 
> questions, like:

>     GPL, GPL2, GPL3, LGPL, BSD, Perl Artistic, MIT/X ..... Custom

This has been proposed before.  One of the problems with this idea is that
many packages have more complex licenses than that, ones that cannot be
easily encapsulated into a single term.  Many packages contain files under
various different licenses and many packages are covered under minor
modifications to standard licenses, so coming up with these terms becomes
a bit complicated, can't be fully accurate, and seems likely to spawn a
complicated set of rules that are hard to verify.

In other words, it seems like a lot of work, and it's not clear what
problem it would really solve.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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