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Re: What are the benefits of a machine-parseable ‘debian/copyright’ file?



Neil Williams <codehelp@debian.org> writes:

> On Mon, 23 Mar 2009 10:03:10 +1100
> Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> wrote:
> 
> > * Display of the copyright notices, license grant and terms (in
> > e.g. ‘aptitude’) when deciding whether or not to install a
> > package.
> 
> I don't see how that is a real gain, except for packages in
> non-free.

And for those cases where users disagree with decisions of what works
should or should not be considered free. That's certainly not
illusory; such differences have always existed.

> Are you saying that you don't want any BSD packages or that you're
> trying to make Debian out of only packages using GNU licences?

I would find it useful, for example, to more easily determine which
works, or parts of works, are FDL-licensed. It's easy to see that
others would have similar opinions on other licenses.

> (I thought we were approaching some degree of sanity earlier on, but
> that has been left behind in this sub-thread, which is apparently
> trying to invent illusory benefits to justify what is increasingly
> sounding like a personal obsession.)

You may disagree with the benefit, but it's not illusory.

> > Perhaps you have never factored license terms into your decisions
> > as a prospective user of a package, pre-installation; I do, all
> > the time, since I want to know what I'm getting myself in for
> > before adding a work to my computer's operating system.
> 
> The whole point of main is that this doesn't need to be a day-to-day
> decision. Licences of packages in main only become an issue when
> developing code that will link against it. There is no need for any
> new tool for that purpose.

It's far easier for the user to prevent works they consider
unacceptable from being installed in the first place, if that
information is automatically discoverable from its metadata. If it's
never installed in the first place, the need for deriving from it will
be far less.

-- 
 \           “Oh, I love your magazine. My favorite section is ‘How To |
  `\          Increase Your Word Power’. That thing is really, really, |
_o__)                          really... good.” —Homer, _The Simpsons_ |
Ben Finney

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