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Re: Is the xdebug's non-free license necessary?

Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> Alexander Schmehl <alexander@schmehl.info> writes:
>>* Jan Minar <jjminar@FastMail.FM> [041219 20:04]:
>>>AFAICT, the only non-free section is:
>>><quote href="http://www.xdebug.org/license.php";>
>>>4. Products derived from this software may not be called "Xdebug", nor
>>>may "Xdebug" appear in their name, without prior written permission from
>>Citing Debian Free Software Guidelines [1]:
>>4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code
>>[..] The license may require derived works to carry a different name or
>>version number from the original software. [..]
>>I didn't looked at the rest of the license, but I don't think this point
>>renders xdebug non-free.
> This is much broader.  For example, I cannot write a derivative called
> "Brian's Xdebug" or "Xdebug manual" or even "A third-party manual for
> Xdebug".
> Excluding a singleton name is fine.  I'd even go so far as to say any
> excluding any countable set is fine.  Excluding an uncountable class of
> names is not.

First of all, let me first say that I agree that DFSG4 can lead to
permitting rather annoying name change clauses, such as this one.
However, before you attack this particular wording, let me quote from
the Apache license:
>  5. Products derived from this software may not be called "Apache",
>     nor may "Apache" appear in their name, without prior written
>     permission of the Apache Software Foundation.

We might actually want to ship Apache... :)

Furthermore, consider the perspective of someone who finds the clause
desirable: it doesn't make much sense to prohibit "Xdebug" but permit
"Xdebug+" or "RealXdebug" (latter example patterned after RealVNC).

Regardless, I don't think your proposed requirement of countability is
backed up by any existing Debian policy or requirement.  I think that as
long as we continue to have DFSG4 and allow restrictions on naming, this
type of license clause is acceptable.

Just call the package "xdbg" or something similar, and point out in the
description that the original software is called "xdebug", but that the
name is changed as required by the license:

Package: php4-xdbg
Description: debugging aid for PHP scripts, based on xdebug
  Xdbg is a debugging aid for PHP scripts.  It provides various debug
  information about your script...
  [further description]
  The upstream version of Xdbg is called "Xdebug".  Since the Debian
  version may contain bugfixes, patches, or other differences from the
  upstream version, the Xdebug license requires Debian to use a
  different name.

Also note that the requirement to change the product name presumably
does not extend to the actual module names and file names used in the
package; those should be unchanged, so that PHP scripts which require
Xdebug still work.

- Josh Triplett

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