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Christoph Anton Mitterer 05-20-2011 05:53 PM

some thoughts on DEP-5
 
Hi.

I wrote the following some time ago to Lars and Steve. The former asked
be to rather put it up for general discussion (which I forgot then
somehow). So here it is...

Please note, that this may be outdated by now, but I couldn't check the
current revision, as http://dep.debian.net/deps/dep5/ seems do be down.


Cheers,
Chris.




May I give some comments to DEP5 (r136).

1) The description of the License field says:
>Otherwise, this field should either include the full text
>of the license(s) or include a pointer to the license file under
>`/usr/share/common-licenses`.

This could be interpreted as if just the pointer would be enough, which
is
however (AFAIU) not what is meant by the policy 12.5, which says a
verbatim
copy must be included and the pointer is (AFAIU) just something that
should
be given in addition?!


2) In general it might be worth suggest that pointer being given in the
Comment field, IMO it's not really part of the license.
e.g.
>Comment: On Debian systems, the full text of the “GNU General Public
License
> version 3” can be found in the file
> “/usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-3”.

But then one would possibly also need to allow the Comment field for the
stand-alone License paragraphs.


3) Just a cosmetic/perfectionist issue:
People would probably simply use the examples in DEP5 for the
formulation
of their pointers, currently:
>On Debian systems, the full text of the GNU General Public License
version 2 can be found in the file `/usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-2'.
may I suggest, as we have UTF-8 and so anyway to use the "right"
quotation
marks, and perhaps also to quote the name of the license, so that we'd
have:
>On Debian systems, the full text of the “GNU General Public License
version 2” can be found in the file “/usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-2”.


HTH,
Chris.

Joey Hess 05-21-2011 05:43 AM

some thoughts on DEP-5
 
Christoph Anton Mitterer wrote:
> 1) The description of the License field says:
> >Otherwise, this field should either include the full text
> >of the license(s) or include a pointer to the license file under
> >`/usr/share/common-licenses`.
>
> This could be interpreted as if just the pointer would be enough, which
> is
> however (AFAIU) not what is meant by the policy 12.5, which says a
> verbatim
> copy must be included and the pointer is (AFAIU) just something that
> should
> be given in addition?!

Packages distributed under the Apache license (version 2.0), the
Artistic license, the GNU GPL (versions 1, 2, or 3), the GNU LGPL
(versions 2, 2.1, or 3), and the GNU FDL (versions 1.2 or 1.3) should
refer to the corresponding files under
`/usr/share/common-licenses',[1] rather than quoting them in the
copyright file.

HTH

--
see shy jo


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Jonas Smedegaard 05-21-2011 07:55 AM

some thoughts on DEP-5
 
On 11-05-20 at 07:53pm, Christoph Anton Mitterer wrote:
> 1) The description of the License field says:
> >Otherwise, this field should either include the full text
> >of the license(s) or include a pointer to the license file under
> >`/usr/share/common-licenses`.
>
> This could be interpreted as if just the pointer would be enough,
> which is however (AFAIU) not what is meant by the policy 12.5, which
> says a verbatim copy must be included and the pointer is (AFAIU) just
> something that should be given in addition?!

DEP-5 is an (optional!) addition to Debian Policy: Nothing in DEP-5
overrides requirements in Debian Policy.

I suspect such false interpretation could only occur if only reading
DEP-5 (not Debian Policy), which is bad in itself. It is wrong approach
IMO to extend DEP-5 with material from Debian Policy - instead the
relationship with Debian Policy should be emphasized if needed.


> 2) In general it might be worth suggest that pointer being given in
> the Comment field, IMO it's not really part of the license. e.g.
> >Comment: On Debian systems, the full text of the “GNU General Public
> >License version 3” can be found in the file
> >“/usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-3”.
>
> But then one would possibly also need to allow the Comment field for
> the stand-alone License paragraphs.

Hmm - This sounds very much like my current practice.

I use the License field strictly for verbatim copied text, so as to
allow potential future automated verifications of it. Commonly I move
2 kind of info into a Comment field:

a) reference to actual license when applicable
b) reference to canonical source of license

The reason for b) is our common practice in Debian to update/replace
that when upstream reference is obsolete - which in effect renders the
text no longer a verbatim copy.

Is the following (from packaging of 4store, but similar to ~100 other
packages) in violation with current DEP-5?:


License: LGPL-2.1+^GNULibC
The GNU C Library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as
published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2.1 of the
License, or (at your option) any later version.
.
The GNU C Library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU
Lesser General Public License for more details.
Comment:
On Debian systems the full text of the GNU Lesser General Public
License (LGPL) version 2.1 can be found in
'/usr/share/common-licenses/LGPL-2.1'.
.
You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public
License along with this program. If not, see
<http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.



> 3) Just a cosmetic/perfectionist issue:
> People would probably simply use the examples in DEP5 for the
> formulation of their pointers, currently:
> >On Debian systems, the full text of the GNU General Public License
> >version 2 can be found in the file
> >`/usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-2'.
> may I suggest, as we have UTF-8 and so anyway to use the "right"
> quotation marks, and perhaps also to quote the name of the license, so
> that we'd have:
> >On Debian systems, the full text of the “GNU General Public License
> >version 2” can be found in the file
> >“/usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-2”.

Good point. I like that. Just as that suddle change of implicitly
using it in examples - not explicitly encouraging it in text.

...but not a strong point: I suggest to keep this in mind for a later
revision of DEP-5, and let the current one become final as-is.


Kind regards,

- Jonas

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

[x] quote me freely [ ] ask before reusing [ ] keep private

Andrei Popescu 05-21-2011 11:23 AM

some thoughts on DEP-5
 
On Sb, 21 mai 11, 09:55:48, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> On 11-05-20 at 07:53pm, Christoph Anton Mitterer wrote:
>
> > 3) Just a cosmetic/perfectionist issue:
> > People would probably simply use the examples in DEP5 for the
> > formulation of their pointers, currently:
> > >On Debian systems, the full text of the GNU General Public License
> > >version 2 can be found in the file
> > >`/usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-2'.
> > may I suggest, as we have UTF-8 and so anyway to use the "right"
> > quotation marks, and perhaps also to quote the name of the license, so
> > that we'd have:
> > >On Debian systems, the full text of the “GNU General Public License
> > >version 2” can be found in the file
> > >“/usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-2”.
>
> Good point. I like that. Just as that suddle change of implicitly
> using it in examples - not explicitly encouraging it in text.
>
> ...but not a strong point: I suggest to keep this in mind for a later
> revision of DEP-5, and let the current one become final as-is.

While I'm a strong supporter of UTF-8[1] I don't think it's a good idea
to use non-ASCII characters unless really needed[2], since things will
look ugly non-UTF-8 systems, and this does *not* help speed up adoption
of UTF-8.

[1] none of the legacy ISO-* encodings has full support for my native
language, including quotation marks
[2] Author names would be a good reason to use UTF-8

Regards,
Andrei
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Charles Plessy 05-21-2011 01:26 PM

some thoughts on DEP-5
 
Le Sat, May 21, 2011 at 01:43:25AM -0400, Joey Hess a crit :
> Christoph Anton Mitterer wrote:
> > 1) The description of the License field says:
> > >Otherwise, this field should either include the full text of the
> > >license(s) or include a pointer to the license file under
> > >`/usr/share/common-licenses`.
> >
> > This could be interpreted as if just the pointer would be enough, which is
> > however (AFAIU) not what is meant by the policy 12.5, which says a verbatim
> > copy must be included and the pointer is (AFAIU) just something that should
> > be given in addition?!
>
> Packages distributed under the Apache license (version 2.0), the
> Artistic license, the GNU GPL (versions 1, 2, or 3), the GNU LGPL
> (versions 2, 2.1, or 3), and the GNU FDL (versions 1.2 or 1.3) should
> refer to the corresponding files under `/usr/share/common-licenses',[1]
> rather than quoting them in the copyright file.

Actually, the Policy does not contain all our requirements for debian/copyright
files (#462996) and the following announce suggests that when license headers
are available, they should be reproduced:

http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2006/03/msg00023.html

Cheers,

--
Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan


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