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Does a DD become solely responsible for abandonware in Debian?

After some email lobbying and many months of waiting, more than may
seem evident from the atttached email exchange below, I have managed
to convince the authors of LiDIA


to finally release their code under the GPL. Woohoo!

It's an excellent number theory package that a mere four years ago
used to have the cutting edge algorithms for elliptic curves (hello,
Fermat's Last Theorem!). Indeed, the reason that it wasn't GPLed
earlier is that its authors had hoped to make its algorithms
proprietary, but for better or for worse have since lost interest in
this endeavour.

In fact, hardly any (none?) of the original contributors and coders of
LiDIA are working on it anymore. I was nagging its sole "maintainer"
about getting the code GPLed so that it could go into Debian (and
hence, hopefully eventually into Ubuntu) in order to give LiDIA a
wider audience and hopefully attract some attention and maintainers.

My questions are these: is this a good idea? Is it a good idea to try
to Debianise a package with no real upstream authors? If I did that,
would I or my sponsor become responsible for maintenance?

Thank you, mentors,
- Jordi G. H.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: LiDIA Administrator <lidiaadm@cdc.informatik.tu-darmstadt.de>
Date: 18-Oct-2006 10:58
Subject: [LiDIA] LiDIA available under GPL
To: lidia@cdc.informatik.tu-darmstadt.de


LiDIA's license has always been very fuzzy: You could use it for research and
other non-commercial purposes for free, but there was no statement regarding
the re-distribution of LiDIA or derived work.

There has been interest to create a Debian package of LiDIA, but a
prerequisite was that LiDIA is released under the GPL (or some compatible
license). I therefore asked for (and received) the permission from
Prof. Buchmann to release LiDIA under the GPL.

I won't be able to prepare a new release anytime soon that has the proper
license text etc., but you can apply the GPL to the current release as well.

Best regards


On Mon, Sep 18, 2006 at 01:20:22PM -0500, Jordi Gutierrez Hermoso wrote:
I just tried accessing


and received the 403 HTML code: forbidden. Is this intentional or a mistake?

I'm concerned about the status of LiDIA. I really don't want to see it
die out. It's an excellent number theory library and includes routines
that are not easily found all in one place anywhere else. Despite
problems with code and documentation maintenance, there's still lots
of potential for this library.

Christoph, whatever happened with GPLing the code?

I'm right now learning the Debian packaging process with Singular, and
LiDIA is my next eventual goal. It needs an audience, and hopefully
that will also attract more caretakers.

- Jordi G. H.

LiDIA mailing list

FH Worms - University of Applied Sciences
Fachbereich Informatik / Telekommunikation
Erenburgerstr. 19, 67549 Worms, Germany

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