Sam Liddicott sam at liddicott.com
Wed Nov 9 16:43:22 CST 2005


Mike Basinger wrote:

> Sorry to cause trouble, I did not have a chance to upload the source,
> which are the same as Dapper other then the change in the changelog to
> add the ~breezy suffix.
>
> The source file is here:
> http://mikesplanet.net/src/pmount_0.9.6-1~breezy.tar.gz
> <http://mikesplanet.net/src/pmount_0.9.6-1%7Ebreezy.tar.gz>

Does this source file include the debian control files and such?

I'm just being picky, put it is important pickyness. Redhat has this
right in that a single .spec file can (and often is) part of the source
so a single command can rebuild the package; too often (various non
ubuntu) debian packages have no source or partial source but not enough
source to rebuild the debian package. I come across a lot of projects
with out of date debian packages that were magically built in the night
half a year ago by undocumented means from what we hope was mostly a
release version of the source some time. It's nice to have debs at all
but it's hardly one of the GPL freedoms to take or leave the binary.

To support  Reinhard, it's not enough just to say "I have just compiled
somebody elses source", you have to either:
1) make the source available at the same point as the binary
2) have a definate agreement that somewhere else will keep hosting the
source for at least as long as you are hosting the binary (admin
overheads for both parties) and publish that location
3) offer the source to all 3rd parties for 3 years (even worse admin
overheads)

I've suggested that HTTP deb repositories issue HTTP redirects to the
master server for getting source packages to avoid the need to rsync the
source when so few people need it, but it's not enough to say:

"I don't see any evidence that any upstream file, other than the version
field in debian/changelog, was modified during this backport"

Because it doesn't fulfil the GPL requirements and it's not exactly easy
for anyone to check to see if there is "any evidence" if the source
isn't there.

I probably sound like an ungrateful wretch, I don't mean to condemn
anyone, just to make clear what the GPL requirements are. It's easy to
do a kind deed and then be surprised that there is a dreadful legal
obligation to be fulfilled along with it.

I hope the deb-builder-uploader can be tweaked to upload the source too,
but this isn't always easy to be sure of as deb-building allows manual
tweaking of the build-dir during build-time.

Sam



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