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Re: debian/copyright format and SPDX

Sune Vuorela <nospam@vuorela.dk> writes:

> I do think that this is another point of "we should kill our babies if
> they don't take off". And preferably faster if/when "we lost" the race.

> We carried around the debian menu for a decade or so after we failed to
> gain traction and people centered on desktop files.

> We failed to gain traction on the structure of the copyright file, and
> spdx is the one who has won here.

I generally agree with everything you're saying, but I don't think it
applies to the structure of the copyright file.  Last I checked, SPDX even
recommends that people use our format for complicated copyright summaries
that their native format can't represent.

It is hampered by being in a language that no one has a readily-available
parser for, and I wish I'd supported the push for it to be in YAML at the
time since YAML has been incredibly successful in the format wars due to
the wild success of Kubernetes (which is heavily based on YAML at the UI
layer although it uses JSON on the wire), but it's still one of the best
if not the best format available for its purpose.

(Yes, I know, the YAML spec is a massive mess, etc.  It's also better than
any other structured file format I've used among those with readily
available parsers in every programming language, and you can use a very
stripped-down version of it without object references and the like.  TOML
unforutnately failed miserably on nested tables in a way that makes it
mostly unusable for a lot of applications YAML does well on.)

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

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