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Re: debian/copyright for files not part of the binary packages?

On Sun, Jul 20, 2008 at 03:20:57PM +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> On Sat, Jul 19, 2008 at 04:20:48PM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > I also disapprove of the ftp team enforcing such a requirement as part
> > of binary NEW - it's not my problem that this is the only time they
> > look for such problems in the archive, and it's not appropriate for
> > the ftp team to couple my library transition to a completely
> > orthogonal "bug".
> I understand that can be pissing off that a pre-existing bug in the
> archive (according to FTP masters POV) causes a NEW reject, but *if* you
> agree with them that it is a bug, then it doesn't matter when it get
> recognized. Then, I concur that their power in rejecting the package
> instead of simply submitting the bug report is strong, but they are the
> ultimate responsible of what is in the archive after all.

The bug is currently in the archive.  If it is so severe that it mustn't
be, then they should remove the current package from the archive as
well.  They don't seem to want to do that.  To me, this means that it's
an orthogonal issue, for which they should use the BTS, just like anyone
else who finds a bug.

In particular, they are currently blocking a library transition, with
the reason that there is a bug in the new package which is also in the
old package.  So blocking the transition doesn't actually solve the bug.
I don't see how this block is reasonable.

> But still you miss my point or I explained it badly: copyright of source
> files can mix arbitrarily in binary files. As it would be foolish to ask
> FTP masters to check the whole build process to discover source->binary
> flow, a simple rule has been put in place: copyright/license of all
> source files should be declared in debian/copyright.

I find it reasonable to say "in case of doubt, put the license in
debian/copyright".  But in many cases (such as not-packaged
documentation), there is no doubt at all.  The file is in the source
package, and it will not be in the binary package.  So I don't think
this is a very strong point.  Also, I think DDs should be trusted to
make this judgement.  If you don't trust DDs, but only ftpmasters, then
they should make all packages themselves.  I'm sure you agree that we
don't want to put such a burden on their shoulders. ;-)

I don't have a strong opinion on whether the copyright file should
document the copyright and license of non-shipped files.  I'm a big
proponent of the machine-readable format plus a "clean all generated
files" target in debian/rules.  The combination would make it possible
for a program to check that every source file in the tree would have a
license (and perhaps even that it is the correct license).


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