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Re: Bug#885698: What licenses should be included in /usr/share/common-licenses?

Johannes Schauer Marin Rodrigues <josch@debian.org> writes:

> I very much like this idea. The main reason maintainers want more
> licenses in /usr/share/common-licenses/ is so that they do not anymore
> have humongous d/copyright files with all license texts copypasted over
> and over again. If long texts could be reduced to a reference that get
> expanded by a machine it would make debian/copyright look much nicer and
> would make it easier to maintain while at the same time shipping the
> full license text in the binary package.

> Does anybody know why such an approach would be a bad idea?

I can think of a few possible problems:

* I'm not sure if we generate binary package copyright files at build time
  right now, and if all of our tooling deals with this.  I had thought
  that we prohibited this, but it looks like it's only a Policy should and
  there isn't a mention of it in the reject FAQ, so I think I was
  remembering the rule for debian/control instead.  Of course, even if
  tools don't support this now, they could always be changed.

* If ftp-master has to review the copyright files of each binary package
  separate from the copyright file of the source package (I think this
  would be an implication of generating the copyright files during build
  time), and the binary copyright files have fully-expanded licenses, that
  sounds like kind of a pain for the ftp-master reviewers.  Maybe we can
  deal with this with better tooling, but someone would need to write

* If we took this to its logical end point and did this with the GPL as
  well, we would add 20,000 copies of the GPL to the archive and install a
  *lot* of copies on the system.  Admittedly text files are small and
  disks are large, but this still seems a little excessive.  So maybe we
  still need to do something with common-licenses?

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)              <https://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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