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Re: Is tabular data in binary format acceptable for Debian ?

On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 11:38:42AM +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
> Le Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 06:14:15PM -0800, Steve Langasek a écrit :

> > reading your message made me worry that the ftp team were moving the
> > line for archive acceptance without discussion, when reading the bug log
> > shows that they're simply trying to determine on which side of the existing
> > line these files fall.

> > I would suggest that you add documentation to the source package in
> > debian/copyright

> The archive administrators are trying to determine if the files are DFSG-free,

Are you sure that's what they're trying to determine?

License review in NEW consists of two questions:

  - Can we distribute it?
  - Does its license meet the DFSG?

If these files are made available under the terms of the GPL, then
determining whether these files are the source is related to the *first*
question, not the second.

> (http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/debian-med-packaging/2009-December/005336.html)
> and despite all our answers are not giving their conclusion. It is my opinion
> that if their conclusion is that the file is non-free, they move the line for
> archive acceptance.

Indeed, the DFSG does not require inclusion of source code for anything that
isn't a program.  If the ftp masters are imposing such a requirement,
that's a bug which should be addressed by a GR; but there's insufficient
evidence to conclude that this is what's happening here.  The simpler
explanation, given what I've read, is that they're guarding against license

> The whole thread can be stopped by one member of the FTP team writing ‘Go
> ahead, these files are free.’

Then you should be cc:ing the ftpmasters, not just posting on debian-devel.

Or, you can use the standard method of getting the ftp team's attention, and
upload the package to the NEW queue making sure to provide the information
that the ftp team found lacking in the previous upload.

> I do not see why we would need to add extra information in
> debian/copyright

Because inline documentation is a good thing, and the ftp team's questions
demonstrate that it's not self-evident that the package is distributable.
Because the package might have to go through NEW again in the future, and
it'll be far more pleasant for everyone if the explanation is immediately to
hand when the package is being reviewed by some other member of the ftp team
years from now.  Because it sets a good example for other packages.

I'm not saying that including this information in debian/copyright should be
(or is) a condition of the package being accepted into Debian; I'm saying
that I think it's a sensible thing to do in its own right, and, barring the
ftp team overstepping their authority, has the added benefit of getting the
package past NEW without further waffling on the mailing lists.

> (by the way, aren't we suppose to work on a format that helps the
> maintainers to waste less time with that file?).

Well, I don't believe DEP5 is going to save maintainers time.  If anything,
I think it'll probably be a wash.

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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