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DEP-5: clarify batching of copyrights, licenses in a single stanza

Hi Craig,

On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 04:13:57PM +1000, Craig Small wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 12:09:44PM +1200, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> > On pe, 2010-08-13 at 09:08 +1000, Craig Small wrote:
> > That would indicate there is a bug in the DEP-5 spec. It is, in my very
> > non-humble opinion, not acceptable for DEP-5 to make it harder to
> > maintain debian/copyright in DEP-5 format than as a free-form one,
> It might be how its written.  I don't have the background of the DEP-5
> creation so have to read the spec as it is.

Indeed, there seems to be a quite common misconception that the presence of
syntax in DEP-5 that lets you list the copyright and license of individual
files means that it is a *requirement* that you list the license status with
this level of granularity.  To my knowledge no one has ever intended this to
be the case, and it has never been my understanding of the drafts to date.

Attached is a patch that tries to clarify this in the DEP itself.  Do you
think it does an adequate job of this?  If so, given that this is a
non-normative change I'm happy to push this to the spec ASAP.  (Further
discussion of some of the points brought up in this subthread may lead to
normative changes in how Files: is used, but I don't think that's a reason
not to clarify the current requirements.)

> > Files: *
> > Copyright: 2005-2006, Joe
> >            2006, Fred
> That means all files Fred worked on in 2006 and all files Joe worked on
> in 2005 and 2006?  You'll get yourself tangled up into some horrible
> year X author matrix this way.  I had a look at one of my packages, 400
> files with 50 different copyright combinations.

No, this means "all files not otherwise called out in other stanzas have a
copyright 2005-2006 Joe and/or 2006 Fred".  Which AFAICS is the plain
English meaning of such a string were to it appear anywhere else outside a
machine-parseable debian/copyright.  Is there something in the language of
the spec that makes you think it should be read differently in this context?

On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 09:53:14AM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> > Maybe Files: * needs clarification.  The difference between 'all' and
> > 'any'.

> We should say explicitly that the copyright field is a rollup of all
> relevant copyright declarations for that group of files, yes.

Russ, can you suggest some language around this?  "rollup" just conjures
images of children's fruit snacks for me. :)

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org
=== modified file 'dep5.mdwn'
--- dep5.mdwn	2010-08-13 03:58:04 +0000
+++ dep5.mdwn	2010-08-13 23:37:38 +0000
@@ -26,7 +26,11 @@
 vary tremendously across packages, making it difficult to automatically 
 extract licensing information.
-This is not a proposal to change the policy in the short term.
+This is not a proposal to change the policy in the short term.  In
+particular, nothing in this proposal supersedes or modifies any of the
+requirements specified in Debian Policy regarding the appropriate detail or
+granularity to use when documenting copyright and license status in
 # Rationale
@@ -113,12 +117,13 @@
 ### Files Section (Repeatable)
-The declaration of copyright and license for files is done in one or
-more stanzas.
+The declaration of copyright and license for files is done in one or more
+stanzas.  In the simplest case, a single stanza can be used which applies to
+all files and lists all applicable copyrights and licenses.
  * **`Files`**
    * Required for all but the first stanza.  If omitted from the first stanza, this is equivalent to a value of '*'.
-   * Syntax: List of patterns indicating files having the same license and sharing copyright holders. See "File patterns" below
+   * Syntax: List of patterns indicating files covered by the license and copyright specified in this stanza.  See "File patterns" below.
  * **`Copyright`**
    * Required

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