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Re: Sponsorship requirements and copyright files

On Fri, 20 Mar 2009 08:33:41 +1100
Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> wrote:

> Sune Vuorela <nospam@vuorela.dk> writes:
> > After a discussion on #debian-mentors and other places, I will not
> > sponsor packages using the copyright file format described on
> > http://wiki.debian.org/Proposals/CopyrightFormat
> For those who weren't present when you were having that IRC
> discussion, can you point us to archived discussions so that we can
> see the points raised and discussed?

I don't have a log, I'm afraid - don't know whether anyone else kept it.

I've updated my own sponsoring requirements:
> > It is a too complex, overengineered solution to a very minor issue.
> I find it very surprising that someone can be a Debian developer and
> consider copyright of works to be “a very minor issue” in Debian.

The minor issue is the machine-operable format - I don't think Suno or
any other sponsor considers debian/copyright itself as minor in any
way. The format of debian/copyright is a minor issue, in so far as it
does not impinge on accuracy. Where the format reduces human
readability, I consider that a fault that I would rather avoid.

> Can you point to a proposal (on another page) for an alternate format
> that you feel passes these tests?

A point during the early stage of that wiki page, something similar to
what I currently use for one of my own packages (tslib).

The wiki is probably the main problem - the objective has been lost in
the subsequent edits.

It surprised me just how far back I had to go to see what I thought was
the version I was using:

I may actually have been using a version earlier than that by the looks
of it too.

(Current revision is somewhere > 500)
> > Too time consuming to write and check
> I find the structure makes it far easier to write and check than the
> free-form chaos of many existing files. What would you have removed
> from the format to reduce the time for writing and checking it?

I completely disagree - the current version of the wiki page is
utterly incomprehensible and inconsistent. It's no wonder that
maintainers coming to debian-mentors are confused.

> > Discussions about this is welcome, but I think debian-devel is a
> > better forum for that.



Neil Williams

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