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Re: Packages with non-distributable distfiles

On Sat, May 26, 2012 at 12:44:29AM +0400, Aleksej Saushev wrote:
> Joerg Sonnenberger <> writes:
> > On Fri, May 25, 2012 at 03:29:24PM +0400, Aleksej Saushev wrote:
> >> You may believe it, but your beliefs should not impede others.
> >> We're not GNU, and this world still has IP laws. Some software has to be
> >> bought (licensed) in order to be used, and there's significant number of
> >> users who don't see anything wrong with it.
> >
> > *sigh* Can we please go back to the original proposal? It was very
> > explicit about NOT covering commercial software as long as there is a
> > maintainer to ensure that the software can be bought.
> Commercial software isn't updated at the same rate as some packages from GNU.
> One could have bought some package up to ten years ago and still
> continue using it. Consider one popular operating system from Microsoft.
> If the package builds and works, there's no reason to remove it just
> because some other people cannot find distfiles.

Let's leave fictional maintainers out of this. They don't contribute
anything. If there is a piece of software that is generally unavailable,
it is the task of the maintainer to make sure it continues to work.
If you want something non-redistributable to continue to be supported,
become maintainer. That's a pretty simple rule. It is also the only way
to make sure it does continue to work.

> Abandonware argument is really weird here. We continue supporting
> similar opensource abandonware even at the price of mirroring distfiles,
> while support for commercial abandonware is basically zero since we
> don't need to waste space on file server.

There is a lot of crappy ancient software that should just die. I am all
for doing regular spring cleaning, but looking at the Acrobat
discussion, that's just as impossible, because a lot of people are
attached to insecure ancient versions.

> Your original proposal is bad in its current form for similar reasons.
> Besides one quarter being too short, if we want to follow proposed rule,
> we need service that periodically checks distfiles' availability
> and sends public notifications when they become unavailable.

Someone will complain. That triggers a timer. It gets fixed or the
package gets removed. No big deal.

> For software that isn't offered publicly, I don't know how you're
> going to check it. The cost is annoyingly high, you propose to force
> maintainers to do hard work just to save few kilobytes of disk space.

If you want to be maintainer of a restricted program, yes, I expect you
to do a certain amount of work. Otherwise the package is just for your
own fun and IMO doesn't belong into the public repository.


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