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Re: debian/rules VS debian/copyright.

On 03/21/12 20:36, Jonathan Yu wrote:
> Hi Mike,
> On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 9:00 PM, Mike Mestnik <cheako@mikemestnik.net
> <mailto:cheako@mikemestnik.net>> wrote:
>     I say one can easily split technical
>     and legal responsibility without the need for any gray lines.
> While I am certainly not opposed to your idea in principle - that
> everyone has something to contribute (including non-programmers) to
> Debian's continued success - I think that for most packages, the
> problem would be logistical.
> From my experience working with the Debian Perl Group as a contributor
> but not a Debian Developer, our workflow works something like this:
> 1. An interested party commits desired changes with corresponding
> debian/changelog updates to the team repository
> 2. The Package Entropy Tracker notices the change, and flags it as
> Pending Upload
> 3. A Debian Developer reviews the package and provides sponsorship
> (uploading the work on behalf of the original contributor) if
> applicable, or requests further changes
> When it comes to copyright and licensing information, which is
> typically a matter of looking through the accompanying documentation
> and leaving appropriate notes in debian/copyright, it is typically a
> small job that is done along with the rest of the packaging process.
> One nice way of doing a quick spot check is using "grep -ir copyright
> ." to find all instances of the word "copyright" in the source files.
> Logistically, requiring developers to wait for an external party to
> work on copyright information (which typically doesn't take too long
> in my experience) would significantly slow down at least the Debian
> Perl Group's ability to process and upload packages.
> When it comes to translations, which I think is an area that recieves
> much more non-developer attention than debian/copyright files, the
> logistical issue still arises - but since we don't all write all of
> the languages in existence, we often have no choice but to seek the
> assistance of interested parties.
> However, all that being said, I think that Debian can benefit from
> interested parties assisting with copyright audits. We certainly have
> a lot of metadata and a lot of code in the various Debian repositories
> - but how accurately does that metadata (e.g. license and copyright
> information) reflect the reality?
> Moreover, there are a lot of open bug reports where we are blocked on
> an ITP due to incomplete or missing copyright/licensing information -
> it would be nice to have more eyes to look over these bugs, forward
> the information upstream where appropriate, and follow up on open bug
> reports (unfortunately, of which, there are many).
> To sum up, the two places I see non-developer assistance being
> beneficial to the Debian project (in the context of copyright and
> licensing information) are:
> 1. Auditing of copyright/licensing information: ensure that the
> metadata stored in debian/copyright is correct. This can be very
> difficult to do as sometimes code is taken from other sources by
> upstream developers without attribution.
This is where I'm stuck on my package not so much the specific issue of
a lack of attribution, but the process of auditing the
copyright/licensing information.  Thanks to your input I now can see my
path vary clearly.

I'll take a bit to reflect this re-wording and apply both of these
suggestions to my recommended patch.

Thank you!

> 2. Following up on bugs related to copyright/licensing information:
> for cases where an ITP/RFP has been filed, but where copyright
> information is not clear from the source data, file a bug report with
> the upstream developers, or alternatively, ping the upstream
> developers in case the bug has been overlooked. Possibly spend some
> time investigating alternative bug trackers that the upstream
> developers may use instead, or their personal e-mail addresses.
> Cheers,
> Jonathan

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