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Old 12-10-2008, 02:15 PM
Charles Plessy
 
Default Peer review of copyright files.

Hello everybody,

Although it should never happen, sometimes a new package we submit to our
archive managers is rejected because the description of the copyright status of
its files is either incorrect or lacunar. This is waste of precious time for
everybody. In order to ameliorate the quality of our submissions, I propose to
introduce a dose of optional pre-submission peer review.

One may wonder why not reviewing all QA aspects of a package? One reason is
that this requires skills that are not evenly distributed, and for some aspects
is simply a matter of taste. Another reason is that such kind of review is
already taking place, is scaterred on many different teams, mailing lists, and
social networks, and would be difficult to centralise. In contrary, all package
maintainers contributing to Debian must be able to write a good copyright file,
and follow the same guide: exhaustivity. I therefore think that it should be
possible to centralise the effort of reviewing debian/copyright files of new
packages even if it mixes people with various backgounds.

I have drafted a page on the wiki that summarises the motivations and proposes
a mode of operation. The key principle is peer review: the ones who review the
work of others are the ones who need a review for themselves. Such a system
should be self-sustainable and will not require the goodwill of persons who are
not using the system themselves.

http://wiki.debian.org/CopyrightReview

I welcome everybody interested by the concept to help me to bootstrap the
system, by writing reviews and submitting their own new packages. Would it be
sucessful, the system could be extended to new upstream releases where the
upstream diff is really big, via the use of RFH bugs.

Have a nice day.

PS: and of course, consider using the machine-readable format if you have not
tried yet: http://wiki.debian.org/Proposals/CopyrightFormat

PPS: If there is interest this proposal could be turned into a DEP.

--
Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan
You can take your time if you want to answer: I am going to sleep


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Old 12-12-2008, 01:21 PM
Daniel Leidert
 
Default Peer review of copyright files.

Am Donnerstag, den 11.12.2008, 00:15 +0900 schrieb Charles Plessy:

> Although it should never happen, sometimes a new package we submit to our
> archive managers is rejected because the description of the copyright status of
> its files is either incorrect or lacunar. This is waste of precious time for
> everybody. In order to ameliorate the quality of our submissions, I propose to
> introduce a dose of optional pre-submission peer review.
>
> One may wonder why not reviewing all QA aspects of a package? One reason is
> that this requires skills that are not evenly distributed,

Well, licensecheck(1) exists. Maybe many packagers don't know it?

[..]
> PS: and of course, consider using the machine-readable format if you have not
> tried yet: http://wiki.debian.org/Proposals/CopyrightFormat

Would be nice to have a licensecheck mode to compare debian/copyright to
the checked source.

Regards, Daniel


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Old 12-12-2008, 01:35 PM
Charles Plessy
 
Default Peer review of copyright files.

Le Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 03:21:50PM +0100, Daniel Leidert a écrit :
>
> Well, licensecheck(1) exists. Maybe many packagers don't know it?

Hi Daniel,

I would rather think that one reason for defective debian/copyright files are
the false negatives of licensecheck `grep -ri copyright .' is more messy but
an indispensable complement, in my opinion, and in the case nothing is found it
is usually safer to try a few other keywords and to inspect some files by hand.


> > PS: and of course, consider using the machine-readable format if you have not
> > tried yet: http://wiki.debian.org/Proposals/CopyrightFormat
>
> Would be nice to have a licensecheck mode to compare debian/copyright to
> the checked source.

I was considering filing a lintian wishlist I have caught once in the past
an upstream update that was adding a non-free MD5 implementation, but an
automatic safeguard wouldn't hurt. Also, I think that my proposal can be useful
as well in the case of a big update where the diff is really large. The
maintainer could file a RFH and use the current procedure, giving a look to
other's packges in exchange for the help with his.

Have a nice day,

--
Charles Plessy
Debian Med packaging team,
http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-med
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan


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Old 12-12-2008, 06:23 PM
Patrick Schoenfeld
 
Default Peer review of copyright files.

Hi,

On Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 03:21:50PM +0100, Daniel Leidert wrote:
> Well, licensecheck(1) exists. Maybe many packagers don't know it?

Well, licensecheck is a unreplaceable tool, but it cannot be a unique
ressource for copyright/license checking, as it suffers from bugs
(and/or unknown patterns) like any other software, too. And it would be really
good if copyright/license problems would be sorted out, before packages
enter NEW, which is a goal that cannot be accomplished with an
automatical tool (in every case).

Regards,
Patrick


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