[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

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

Hopefully I'm not too late and I hope I won't make any ('dumb') mistakes as 
I'm not as well-versed in licenses and packaging as other participants.

On Sunday, 10 September 2023 18:16:07 CEST Russ Allbery wrote:
> > * The license is DFSG-free.
> > * Exactly the same license wording is used by all works covered by it.

I think both of these criteria are excellent.

> > * The license applies to at least 100 source packages in Debian.
> In the thread so far, there's been a bit of early convergence around my
> threshold of 100 packages above.  I want to make sure people realize that
> this is a very conservative threshold that would mean saying no to most
> new license inclusion requests.

On Sunday, 10 September 2023 05:35:27 CEST Russ Allbery wrote:
> Here are various concerns that people have had in this area in the past.
> * common-licenses consumes disk space on every installed Debian system of
>   any size, and therefore should be kept small to avoid wasting system
>   resources.

The only reason for not doing so that I've detected is worry about disk space? 
If we were talking about several Megabytes (or even larger) then I could see 
that point. But license text is max several Kilobytes?

diederik@bagend:/usr/share/doc$ find . -name copyright | wc -l

I suspect I have an enormous amount of duplicate license texts on this system 
and replacing those with references to common-licenses will likely reduce the 
waste of system resources.

Optionally the license texts in common-licenses could be gz compressed (gzip 
is Priority: required) to reduce disk-space even further.

So I would be in favor of dropping the threshold.

> > * The license text is longer than 25 lines.

The primary reason I'm in favor of dropping this too is consistency.

On Sunday, 10 September 2023 05:35:27 CEST Russ Allbery wrote:
> Here are various concerns that people have had in this area in the past.
> * Including long legal texts in debian/copyright, particularly if one
>   wants to format them for copyright-format, is tedious and annoying and
>   doesn't benefit our users in any significant way, and therefore we
>   should include as many licenses as possible in common-licenses to spare
>   people that work.

This is an important reason why I'd want to have most/all licenses that are 
used in Debian included in common-licenses.
It's not only tedious and annoying, but also (because of that) error prone. 
And then you run the risk of the included license text not being (word-for-
word) the same.
Getting rid of tedious/annoying/repeating busy work seems like a win for 

And IMO it's not only not beneficial to our users, but actually provides extra 
work. If I want to make sure the license text is indeed the same as my 
(hopefully correct) local copy, I'd have to run a `diff` with the included text 
in the copyright file. And that applies to every user who'd want to do that. 
And also for a prospective (new) maintainer of a package.

I'm a (big) fan of SPDX because it simplifies and clarifies things (a lot IMO) 
and makes things more consistent. And I'm a sucker for consistency.

I do think that the license should be provided locally (and its availability 
not be dependent on a build step in some other tool).
Having a link to an online version may be a useful extra service, but having a 
working internet connection should not be a requirement (IMO).


Attachment: signature.asc
Description: This is a digitally signed message part.

Reply to: