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

Quoting Russ Allbery (2023-09-10 23:24:24)
> Jonas Smedegaard <jonas@jones.dk> writes:
> > I have so far worked the most on identifying and grouping source data,
> > putting only little attention (yet - but do dream big...) towards
> > parsing and processing debian/copyright files e.g. to compare and assess
> > how well aligned the file is with the content it is supposed to cover.
> > So if I understand your question correctly and you are not looking for
> > the output of `licensecheck --list-licenses`, then unfortunately I have
> > nothing exciting to offer.
> I think that's mostly correct.  I was wondering what would happen if one
> ran licensecheck debian/copyright, but unfortunately it doesn't look like
> it does anything useful.  I tried it on one of my packages (remctl) that
> has a bunch of different licenses, and it just said:
> debian/copyright: MIT License
> and apparently ignored all of the other licenses present (FSFAP, FSFFULLR,
> ISC, X11, GPL-2.0-or-later with Autoconf-exception-generic, and
> GPL-3.0-or-later with Autoconf-exception-generic).  It also doesn't notice
> that some of the MIT licenses are variations that contain people's names.
> (I still put all the Autoconf build machinery licenses in my
> debian/copyright file because of the tooling I use to manage my copyright
> file, which I also use upstream.  I probably should change that, but I
> need to either switch to licensecheck or rewrite my horrible script.)
> Also, presumably it doesn't know about copyright-format since it wouldn't
> be expecting that in source files, so it wouldn't know to include licenses
> referenced in License stanzas without the license text included.

Right.  Licensecheck so far mostly scans for human prose stating "this
has been licensed as..." and "this is the license...", and rarely is
able to recognize "the default license of this project is..." or "that
folder over there is licensed as..." style prose.

That said, there is interest in covering that as well, and also interest
in improving on non-prose forms like "[this is YAML;] Copyright: ..." or
binary forms most commonly embedded in fonts and ICC data in images.

It is helpful if you (i.e. anyone reading this) have a good (as in
particularly rich/tricky/peculiar) case that you file a bugreport
pointing to its failure of being recognized by licensecheck.

Also, I hadn't thought of there being interest in statistics - it should
not be too hard to spit out numbers for variation in licenses or
copyright holders once licensecheck has recognized the information.
Again, if someone has suggestions for formats they'd particularly like
such statistisc to be served from licensecheck then please file a

Sorry this isn't helping anything for the topic being discussed.

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/
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