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Re: debian/rules VS debian/copyright.

Le Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 08:00:06PM -0500, Mike Mestnik a écrit :
> I'm really a horrible person and I'm excellent at writing files like
> debian/rules. From my perspective it's perfectly clear that a simple
> tool designed to write perfect debian/rules files would have no chance
> at writing a debian/copyright file. I understand that for decades there
> has been a large group of hard working individuals that excel at writing
> both.
> I'd like to point out a need, and a desire on my part, for this to change.
> I've been told that in order to write a good debian/copyright one must
> have interment knowledge of a package and therefore be part of the
> packaging team. I fail to see how the two relate, there is a lot more
> that goes into a package then just the debian/copyright and unlike the
> debian/rules it stands alone as it doesn’t interface with any other part
> of the Debian Package, excepting that the original source is not part of
> the Debian Package(at least in this instance).

Dear Mike,

for copyright summaries and all other aspects of Debian packaging, proofreading
is always appreciated.  I have proposed in the past a peer review system for
copyright files.  Perhaps it can fit your needs, but you will have to make it


In an ideal world, it would be trivial to write a Debian copyright file because
the upstream sources would already contain a perfect documentation of all
the copyright and license notices.  The work that is made in Debian can
be made more widely useful if forwarded and accepted upstream; this is also
an area where anybody can help.

Importantly, the check for copyright and license notices is necessary at each
upload.  Reviewing existing files and reporting inaccuracies in our BTS will
also be helpful, especially when the inaccuracy is critical.  It is not
frequent at the scale of one package, but at the level of our distribution it
definitely happens that upstream authors change the license of their works or
add non-free files without explicitely documenting it.

Lastly, you can also contribute by facilitating distribution-wide work on
copyright matters, for instance by writing tools that leverage machine-readable
copyright formats, or setting up services similar to what source.debian.net
provided using OpenGrok.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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