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Re: Question regarding policy wording

On Wed, Apr 05, 2006 at 03:58:25PM +0200, Frank Küster wrote:
> Hi,
> I don't know whether this is a wording bug or actually a feature.
> ,---- Policy 12.5
> | Every package must be accompanied by a verbatim copy of its copyright
> | and distribution license in the file /usr/share/doc/package/copyright.
> | This file must neither be compressed nor be a symbolic link.
> `----
> It is common practice that /usr/share/doc/<package>/ is a symlink to
> /usr/share/doc/<other_package>/ if <package> Depends: <other_package>.
> Therefore I don't see why the copyright file couldn't be a symlink to
> /usr/share/doc/<other_package>/copyright.
> As I understand it, the intention is to prevent constructions like
> copyright -> README when the information is also there, or to some other
> arbitrary file, or similar things.  
> But for source packages that create multiple binary packages, there's
> usually only one copyright file, anyway, but it may not always be a good
> choice to make the complete /usr/share/doc/<package>/ directory a
> symlink.
> Should I create a patch for the wording that allows symlinks to other
> copyright files from the same source package?

Please don't. That would probably break packages.debian.org which
will not be able to get the copyright file anymore.

I have never quite agreed with the allowance for symlinks to
directory in the first place.  There are three major short-comings:

1) The .deb file does not carry the copyright files, which is a bit
problematic since users can download the .deb from the net and unpack
it with 'ar x'. Displaying the copyright file of a .deb is made a
much harder task. This affect packages.debian.org.

2) This force a same version dependency which is quite rigid and might
cause problems (e.g. circular dependencies).

3) Reverting to a directory require maintainer scripts support because
dpkg will not replace a symlink by a directory.

Bill. <ballombe@debian.org>

Imagine a large red swirl here. 

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