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Re: Clarifying the mandatory contents of the Debian copyright file.

Le Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 04:03:14PM +0800, Chow Loong Jin a écrit :
> On 18/01/2012 10:09, Peter Miller wrote:
> > Are there any plans to write a tool to scan a project tree and generate
> > the DEP-5 debian/copyright file?
> I personally use:
> $ licensecheck --copyright -r . | /usr/lib/cdbs/licensecheck2dep5 > debian/copyright
> And then manually modify debian/copyright to compress entries to satisfaction.

Dear Peter and Chow,

In my experience, licensecheck has false positives and false negatives.  Please
be sure to validate its results with an independant method.

In my packaging workflow, I am usually taking the reverse approach as you do: I
generate the Debian copyright file by hand (guided by grep), and then confront
the result to the output of licensecheck.

This said, both ways are a matter of preference, as long as there is

The licensecheck to DEP 5 converter may also be even more useful if it could be
implemented as a lintian check, that would for instance verify that no new
license is missed when upgrading a package.  Sometimes, non-free files try to
sneak in…

In the future, there will be a safe (but possibly time-consumming) way to
autogenerate a machine-readable Debian copyright file: exhaustively document
all the files following the SPDX standard, and then convert from this format.
See for instance Ubuntu's project on the matter.


Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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