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Re: New field in binary stanza

On Mon, 24 Dec 2007 18:43:57 +0100
David Paleino <d.paleino@gmail.com> wrote:

> > From a user perspective, there is no difference between any package in
> > main as far as a licence is concerned.
> It's not for users, it's for developers.

But you cannot separate the content of the Packages.gz file according
to whether the viewer is a user or developer. What goes into the
Packages file gets sent to everyone using main, whether they need the
licence data or not.

Now it might be nice to change that so that some users (all developers
are also users so that covers everyone) can have a minimal apt cache
download and Packages.gz file, some may want a maximal cache. However,
that isn't going to happen quickly and adding more fields is not the
way to seek it.

I'd support that because Emdebian could do with a smaller Packages.gz
file - maybe miniPackages.gz alongside Packages.gz. It's relatively easy
- a parser built into the repository tools to strip out certain fields
like Priority, Section, maybe even drop Maintainer and Homepage for
certain embedded devices that won't have a functional 'reportbug' on
the device itself. Then an option for apt (in /etc/apt/apt-conf.d/
IIRC) that uses this file for such devices.

There has been discussion on having translation status in Packages.gz
too - Emdebian has an alternative to that but it may be something that
could be added to max_Packages.gz etc. for those devices where space
and bandwidth are not an issue.

> > 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.
> I'll do, if necessary.

I'd say it is necessary.

It would go a long way to restarting the whole issue of machine
interpreted copyright info and encouraging other developers to support
it. (I've converted some of my packages but without a visible benefit
of doing so, I'm not exactly rushing to convert the rest.)

> First of all, it's not just that webpage. Go to /tasks/, and you'll see that
> there are others. But the most important thing is that this will probably be a
> feature of cdd-dev; probably in future other CDDs (Debian-Edu, ...) will also
> use that. From this point of view, Debian-Med is kind of a "prototype" for
> cdd-dev.

I still can't see why the licence is relevant to such a website /
interface / task list. The package is in main - that's all you need to
know until you need to copy code from that package into your own.
Redistributing anything in main is explicitly allowed without any need
for any other information.

> I repeat, if it's needed, I'll write a parser for this. I just wanted to have
> the chance not to write a huge script that does the job.

Instead you want to add data to everyone's apt cache - that isn't a
good deal for everyone else. A parser is the sane solution.


Neil Williams

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