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Re: DEP-5: removed files

On Tue, Dec 08, 2009 at 09:56:29AM +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
> Given that the purpose of DEP-5 is to make information available to machines,
> my feeling is also that there is no need for a new field, unless there is a
> commitemnt to parse the license information about removed files in a
> programmatic way.

IMHO, *if* the conclusion is that this information belongs in
debian/copyright, it should be incorporated in the DEP as a standardized

In the meantime, we might want to work through the concern raised in an
earlier thread about having the DEP explicitly permit free-form text in
debian/copyright outside of its defined stanzas.

> While duplication of information should be avoided, there are still a couple of
> justifications why the license of removed files could be summarised. First,
> most get-orig-source targets in debian/rules let the removed files transit on
> the user's machine.

The "get-orig-source" target is not a user interface, it's a developer
interface.  I expect developers to know what they're about.

> Similarly, some VCS that are available through ‘debcheckout’ also contain
> a copy of the removed files in their upstream branch. For these cases, I
> think that debian/copyright is a relevant place to declare the license of
> the removed files, since they may actually be really there!

I disagree.  debian/copyright is not an interface for documenting the
license status of arbitrary VCS branches, it's an interface for documenting
the license status of Debian packages.  Since any VCS branch that includes
the debian/copyright should (assuming a rational universe) also *not*
include the removed files in question, there should be no need to document
the license of these files in debian/copyright - and any branch that does
include those files should also include the upstream license information.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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