To: NetBSD Packages Technical Discussion List <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 06/10/1999 16:31:23
[ On Thursday, June 10, 1999 at 15:12:10 (-0400), Todd Vierling wrote: ]
> See my proposals from a couple weeks ago.  I proposed a
> USE_LICENSE and DIST_LICENSE, which I've partly implemented already in
> `newpkgsrc' (my private modified copy of pkgsrc).

Yeah, I was meaning to discuss that part of your proposal....

I don't think your proposal does anything more than unify the naming
conventions for the variables -- it maintains the same overload of
concepts and confusion of issue, and it continues to mislead and
misinform.  Of course your proposal also covers a number of issues
un-related to copyright, crypto/export, and patents, which further
clouds the picture.

The first thing I would suggest is breaking appart your proposal --
well as perhaps the IGNORE* variables, can be dealt with separately.

I think my (admittedly very abstract) proposal is much more concise
w.r.t. the handling of copyright, crypto/export, and patent issues.

For instance, "personal-use-only" and "no-commercial-use" are irrelevant
to all software that can be freely and anonymously obtained, *unless*
you happen to be in a jurisdiction where patent or crypto-use laws
forbid certain kinds of uses.  Specifying these descriptors in a
non-locale-specific way is totally bogus and defeats their purpose
entirely.  Specifying them without explicitly indicating the reasons for
the restrictions is confusing and misleading.

W.R.T. requiring or not requiring source distribution, I forgot to
mention the following as well:  from the perspective of pkgsrc the
issues about source distribution are relatively minor, especially if one
assumes that anyone distributing binaries will have the good sense to
include source archives too.  In fact it would be trivial to make a
statement to this effect in the documentation and thus avoid the issue
entirely.  The only real issue that might arise is the opposite one --
i.e. where source is explicitly *not* redistributable (and may not even
be freely available) even though binaries can be freely (re)distributed.

							Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <>      <robohack!woods>
Planix, Inc. <>; Secrets of the Weird <>