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Re: New field in binary stanza

On Mon, 24 Dec 2007 17:36:06 +0100
David Paleino <d.paleino@gmail.com> wrote:

> > A machine-interpretable format for debian/copyright is already
> > available. Why clutter the dpkg and apt-cache with licence lines?
> debian/copyright is not available via the APT cache, thus cannot be available
> to wrappers like python-apt and others.

So? Why is knowing the licence important before installation anyway?
It's in main, it's free software. It's not in main, a one-line addition
in the dpkg output is not going to tell you much about why.

>From a user perspective, there is no difference between any package in
main as far as a licence is concerned.

> > Some packages can have multiple (compatible) licences - the details of
> > what is licenced under which can only be properly determined by reading
> > debian/copyright. It's installed for every package so I don't see the
> > point.
> Again, it's not about _installed_ packages, but about fetching this information
> from the APT cache (i.e. can't install packages on Alioth just to read
> debian/copyright...), or any other place that won't require root privileges
> (debian/copyright is online, but I believe that parsing it might be kind of a
> nightmare, if one wants to give a "standardized" output).

I can't see any point in having such output available to the user.

If you want this data, write a dedicated wrapper - don't burden
everyone else with an extra 20,000 lines in Packages.gz - create a
local mirror if necessary.

> [1] http://debian-med.alioth.debian.org/tasks/bio.php

So for the sake of one webpage, every Debian user gets yet more bloat
in Packages.gz. Oh good. Sorry, I think that's a really really really
bad idea. Almost makes me think it's 1st April.


Neil Williams

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