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Re: SPDX, unbranding? (Re: DEP-5 meta: New co-driver; current issues)

On Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 02:32:39PM +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
Le Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 05:43:36PM +1200, Lars Wirzenius a écrit :

The SPDX people are collaboration with other projects, including Fedora, on this right now. Steve and I discussed it and he'll join the SPDX mailing list to represent us, and will relay any concerns and updates. (I don't know if the SPDX list is public. I hope it is. If someone can find out and post a URL to their list archive, it would be a good thing.)


I looked at SPDX today (I should have done earlier), and wondered how DEP-5 would be useful in that context. One of the reasons I was in favor of unbranding the DEP was to propose to upstream developers to use it, so that we can forward the fruit of our efforts and make them useful outside the Debian world. SPDX will change the situation a lot, and it may be less benefical to forward a DEP-5 file than a SPDX file.

If SPDX takes off, there is not much point unbranding DEP-5 anymore. Especially if, as Russ suggests, the DEP it is integrated in the Debian Policy.

Not sure if this point has been raised already:

If Debian use an own format rather than e.g. SPDX then we might easier be able to deal with potential disagreements on licensing interpretations.

Debian has different opinion than, say, FSF, on what is an acceptable FLOSS license. We might in the future disagree with other distros on how to interpret some licensing issues like what exactly the OpenSSL license conflicts with, or how to handle licenses mentioning patents.

I know that we are not lawyers. But we still have opinions that may reflect our view on licenses - sometimes differently from other distros.

Imagine the SPDX folks deciding that two licenses are so similar that they use a single shortform for both. And imagine that we want to distinguish those particular licenses. Then it is better to have a format of our own - which ideally is then machine-translatable to the "universal" format, where the translator then deals with the quirks of merging or hinting as fuzzy.

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

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