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Re: Summaries in general, was: Summary Update: MPL ...

Interesting reply, but it seems to have missed my main point.

On 2004-06-26 18:30:40 +0100 Francesco Poli <frx@firenze.linux.it> wrote:

So, IIUC, you propose that summaries should be split into two

This part is correct.

in your opinion, every license should be summarized by one
document intended for the license authors (who may be willing to
improve their license) /and/ by another document intended for developers
(people who choose licenses for their software) and users (people who
choose software taking into account licensing issues).

No, I feel that if a licence author/user asks the list, the summariser writes a reply explaining any notable features of the licence in question; while if a packager asks the list, the summariser writes a reply explaining why a particular consensus was reached about the package and that can be added to the web page, listing the licence used and the consensus.

Don't you feel that this would be too much effort to be done effectively
for a significant number of debian-legal discussions?


I mean: very few `monotype' summaries have been done so far and you
suggest to double the number of summaries per discussion...  :o

No, I say write the right type of summary for the purpose. It is unlikely that we will have both sorts of summary in many cases.

Wouldn't it be better if one single summary variant could be tuned to be
well-suited for both uses (improving licenses /and/ choosing a license
or checking if a piece of software is _probably_ free)?

I believe that you cannot write one type of summaries of comments about licences and decisions about packages for licence authors or users and packagers and that is why we have not seen many summaries and the ones we have seen don't appear to have helped as much as was expected. I think the target audience seems too broad. You always need to be able to put someone in mind when writing and the broad target hinders that.

It's not about becoming FSF++ or OSI mark 2.
But, hey!, what can you do when you realize you don't quite agree with
FSF's or OSI's criteria and you feel that Debian's criteria are the ones
you agree best with?

Go set up your own licence court system using those criteria.

But it should publish some sort of vademecum, even though it must be

Vademecum is not a word dict or I know. It looks like a Roman place name.

stated clearly that there is *no warranty* that a package under a `good'
license will go in main for sure.
I mean: a package under a `good' license could be very well judged as
non-free and viceversa, but anyway it's still useful to provide a
guide... otherwise people could begin to think that having a package
included in Debian (main) is a sort of lottery.

Surely one could generate some lists of licences for the web site from existing packages, then reference debian-legal discussions? Or look at /usr/share/common-licenses on any Debian system for some obvious candidates.

MJR/slef    My Opinion Only and not of any group I know
http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ for creative copyleft computing
"To be English is not to be baneful / To be standing by
the flag not feeling shameful / Racist or partial..."

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