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Re: DEP5: CANDIDATE and ready for use in squeeze+1

Le Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 05:38:43PM -0400, Joey Hess a écrit :
> I'm curious about Source being a required field. Policy says:
>      In addition, the copyright file must say where the upstream sources
>      (if any) were obtained.
> Native packages tend to have no upstream sources, so for most of the
> 200 or so native packages that I am involved in, I have no such thing
> in copyright, and I think that policy allows that. Anything I can
> think of to put in the source field seems redundant or pointless
> boilerplate -- which I'd rather avoid having in the 200-odd native
> packages I am involved with in Debian.
> (Of course, the Source field is also redundant for a great many packages
> where it would be the same URL that goes in debian/control's Homepage field.
> IIRC, the hope is that policy is eventually changed to not require
> the copyright have that redundant information.)

I think that the current version of the DEP gives some flexibility to deal with
all these cases:

  # Source
      * Required
      * Syntax: formatted text, no synopsis
      * An explanation from where the upstream source came from. Typically this
        would be a URL, but it might be a free-form explanation. If the upstream
        source has been modified to remove non-free parts, that should be
        explained in this field.

To avoid duplication of information, it would be possible for instance to have
an invariant value like ‘Source: see homepage’. This needs to be typed once,
either at package creation or when converting the copyright file to the
machine-readable format. It would be a waste of time to modify debian/copyright
solely for adding this boilerplate, but since there is more to do to convert to
the machine-readable format, my feeling is that it is not a big overhead.

If the Policy is revised to remove the requirement to document where the
upstream sources are obtained, then I think that it would be good to make the
Source field optional to reflect the change. I also think that debian/copyright
should be focused on license information and compliance, and that other
informations should better be transferred somewhere else.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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