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Re: Discussion with Pine developers & Debian Issues

There are three issues with pine
(in order of importance to Debian, imo): 

1. Pine does not allow redistribution of modified binaries without
explicit permission to do so.  There are three fixes: Pine provides
executables that do not require tweaking by Debian, then takes on the
job of a Debian maintainer; Pine changes the license (why are patches
ok, but the executables generated from them not ok?); Debian gets a Pine
maintainer that is willing to get explicit permission everytime Pine is
recompiled for Debian (Pine releases, Debian releases, bug fixes, and
security fixes). 

2. The above requirement places Pine in non-free, rather than main,
which means Pine could not be put onto Debian CD's.  The only fix for
this is a licensing change; for Pine to modify their license, or for
Debian to change the DFSG. 

3. The technical considerations, which Pine is working on and will
result in making life a little easier for the Debian maintainer, but
which also have no bearing on Debian being able to redistribute Pine

I contacted UW, then Debian, then tried to get the two communicating; 
to the extent of offering possible solutions to the impasse.  At the
point were UW should have responded (yea, nay, or how about this
solution instead), Terry broke off communication... and gave Paul
permission to redistribute the latest version of Pine that Santiago had
Debianized (the same version they would not look at earlier because 
they had been there, done that, and nothing came of it). 

So, UW's solution is to let a third party distribute Pine executables
for Debian... which is fine, except that Debian users have to hunt
around for a Pine executable, and there is no guarantee that fixes will
get incorporated into the Debianized Pine in a timely manner.

- Bruce

On Tue, 6 Apr 1999, Brock Rozen wrote:

> ** NOTE: The Pine developers wanted to give me a new message to quote/post
> publicly -- after waiting for a month for this message, and having
> requested it numerous times, I've decided to go through anyhow **
> Hi,
> I've been in touch with the Pine developers at U Washington (U Dub)
> recently, and it seems they're willing to put in some effort to allow Pine
> to run on Debian Linux out-of-the-box. What they're not willing to do is
> implement wider changes, but simply the minimum necessary to get it to
> run.
> While some might say, "Well, we'll need to distribute changes to the
> source like we do now anyhow." (which is correct) -- it at least means
> that there's less to do whenever a new Pine is released and that people
> aren't reliant upon the Debian people to release an upgraded version, but
> rather they can compile it themselves.
> Comments? Thoughts?
> -- 
> Brock Rozen                                              brozen@torah.org
> Director of Technical Services                              (410)358-9800
> Project Genesis                                     http://www.torah.org/ 
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 08:53:21 -0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
> From: Terry Gray <gray@cac.washington.edu>
> To: Brock Rozen <brozen@torah.org>
> Cc: Pine Support <pine@cac.washington.edu>
> Subject: Re: Change of Pine folder methods in 4.10 -- PROBLEM
> Brock,
> We are attempting to work something out with a fellow who claims to be the
> Pine maintainer for Debian... but so far his only intent has been to try
> to get UW to give up change control on redistributed copies of Pine, so I
> don't know whether he is actually interested in trying to solve the
> problem.  
> Certainly we are... indeed one of the options I outlined that keeps
> getting ignored is to work with us to try to identify the *minimum* set of
> changes needed to run on Debian for possible inclusion in our
> distribution.
> As Mike said, this probably won't happen in the very short term, but we
> really are interested in trying to make Pine more readily available to the
> Debian community, even in spite of the presumptuous demands to change our
> licensing policies we keep getting from certain parts of it.
> -teg
> On Thu, 11 Feb 1999, Brock Rozen wrote:
> > On Tue, 9 Feb 1999, Michael Seibel wrote:
> > 
> > > > Another question, while I've got you on the line. ;-) Is there any plans
> > > > on incorporating a Debian Linux port into the main release? I know that
> > > > the main release doesn't compile perfectly. If you want, I can put you in
> > > > touch with the Debian Linux maintainer of Pine.
> > > 
> > > Probably not in the short term.  We reviewed their diffs quite awhile back
> > > after they asked to be able to redistribute, and while there's nothing of
> > > immeditate technical difficulty, we're not prepared to support or directly
> > > recommend the setgid environment they chose for email client use.
> > 
> > Hmmm...it does leave a sticky situation for Debian users. There's no
> > possibility of including their changes only for a build that done
> > specifically for Debian? What about a possible change of license that
> > allows them to redistribute (with permission) a modified version only to
> > make it work. Right now, for instance, I can't compile the
> > released-sources on a Debian system.
> > 
> > Thanks,
> > 
> > 
> -- 
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