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Re: Bug#535830: ITP: php-recaptcha -- reCAPTCHA is a free CAPTCHA service

Angel Abad (Ikusnet SLL) wrote:
> Package: wnpp
> Severity: wishlist
> Owner: "Angel Abad (Ikusnet SLL)" <angel@grupoikusnet.com>
> * Package name    : php-recaptcha
>   Version         : 1.10
>   Upstream Author : reCAPTCHA -- http://recaptcha.net
> * URL             : http://recaptcha.net
> * License         : MIT
>   Programming Lang: Php
>   Description     : reCAPTCHA is a free CAPTCHA service
> A CAPTCHA is a program that can tell whether its user is a human or a
> computer. You've probably seen them  colorful images with distorted
> text at the bottom of Web registration forms. CAPTCHAs are used by
> many websites to prevent abuse from "bots," or automated programs
> usually written to generate spam. No computer program can read
> distorted text as well as humans can, so bots cannot navigate sites
> protected by CAPTCHAs.
> .
> This package contains the php recaptcha library.


I wrote it to the pkg-php list, but I want to write it to -devel as
well, to have the opinions of others. I don't think packaging something
working with a foreign website that provides a functionality that the
user is supposed to run on its own website is compatible with the
freeness of Debian, and matches the DFSG and social contract.

Clearly, something like recaptcha, we don't own it, and we wont ever
have the source code that they use. This is more than closed than a
closed source app: we don't even have the binary for it, we only rely on
the service of a website, that may well one day be gone (who knows?).
This type of software doesn't pass any of the Debian freeness tests
(desert island, dissident, tentacles of evil).

I wouldn't mind if there was no alternative. I wouldn't mind also if
such a functionality couldn't be made by ourself, standalone. Facts are:
we don't need at all the recaptcha.net site to display Turring tests
images and there ARE some alternatives available (well, at least one for
this php module as you can see below, and there must be some more on the
wild (eg: hidden in the deepness of internet)).

I knew about recaptcha, I know it does things better than the modules
that I describe below, but still, the non-freeness (in the Debian
spirit) of recaptcha pushed me to fill the following ITPs:

- php-image-text
- php-numbers-words
- php-text-figlet
- php-text-psasword
- php-text-captcha

There are all available from here:


I will upload them in Debian as soon as I have my Debian accounts
created (as I found nobody willing to spend some time to do sponsoring,
and that anyway I believe it wont take must time until I get my Debian
Developer accounts ready since it's been 3 weeks my DAM approved me).

The last of the above packages needs the other above 4 other php
packages as dependencies. This solution is a lot more free than
php-recaptcha, IMHO. I think that the best way would be to convince the
authors of CiviCRM to use php-text-captcha instead of recaptcha, at
least as an alternative solution.

In short: anyway you put it, I don't like the idea of adding
php-recaptcha in the archive, because I don't think it's really free. Am
I the only person thinking this way?


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