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Re: Packages for SimH (simh 3, open-simh)

On Sat, Jun 4, 2022 at 7:07 AM Greg Troxel <> wrote:

Rhialto <> writes:

> Currently, we have
> - emulators/simh
>   which we had for years. Now it cannot be updated further without
>   getting a weird non-open-source license for the code (it is at the
>   last point before the license change).
> - wip/simh3
>   Bob Supnik's recent release
> - wip/open-simh
>   The recently created fork of emulators/simh, splitting off from just
>   before the license change (so at this moment it is nearly identical
>   to emulators/simh).
> The easiest thing to do would be to import the wip packages into pkgsrc
> and leave it at that. However an few further courses of actions appear
> possible:
> 1)  Add a big note to emulators/simh that it must not be updated to a
>     later version
> 2)  Remove emulators/simh
> 3)  Simply replace emulators/simh with wip/open-simh, i.e. pointing the
>     old package name at the new upstream

I'm assuming that the new license, while odd, still has availability of
source code, and probably the ability to distribute binaries compiled
from it.  I can see why you don't like non-Free licenses, and I don't
like them either, but note that pkgsrc doesn't have a "not allowed"

Generally we do not freeze versions due to license changes.  Prior art
is having two packages: ghostscript-gpl and ghostscript-agpl (both Free
Software licenses).  As a data point which is not predictive of this
situation, ghostscript-agpl is maintained and udpated and
ghostscript-gpl is at PKGREVISION 41.

We have a general rule that packages are either all versioned or there
is only one version, while more or less not renaming to follow the rule
but ensuring all new packages do.  But sometimes it is time to take the
churn hit and clean up, when the cost of churn is small compared to the
cost of the continuing confusion.  IMHO this situation is confusing.

I am going to assume there is no community outrage that will result in
the simh4-wierd-license project stopping using the simh name in the near
term.  Just crankiness enough for a fork.  I certainly read and the open-simh github page that way.

So if I were maintaining simh-family, I would:

  - Fix simh3's DESCR to say this is the continuation of simh3 by
  - import wip/simh3 to pkgsrc

  - Fix open-simh's DESCR to say that it is a continuation fork of simh4
    because of licensing (or something like that, which is true and
  - import wip/open-simh to pkgsrc

neither of which is the slightest bit controversial.  (I'm usually
cranky about multi-pakcage DESCRs giving the 2 lines of clue about how
they are different.)

Then I would do one of

  - rename simh to simh4, so that people who see simh and simh3 won't
    assume that simh is the standard approach. Probably most of those
    with simh installed will want to change to simh3 or open-simh
  - expect people to update, as they are in the mood, simh4 to later
    versions, with the new license


  - drop simh, basically treaing simh->open-simh as a name change

but B feels like stepping into the dispute more than feels right this
minute -- even though I wouldn't spend effort on simh4.  But maybe
*none* of us care about simh4, and it's more honest to rm it than to
leave it not updated.

I don't like your option 3, becuase oepn-simh is self-labeling as
open-simh, and it is confusing for us to call it simh.

I don't like your option 1, because we generally don't do that.  When we
want to provide also the old code under the other license, we add a
package, which you propose to do anyway.

I hope this rambling rant makes sense....

The last time I checked (2022Q1) simh builds the december 2021 version of simh, which is before the license change.

If you update to the latest simh/simh github version you're going to want to probably require the user to accept the new (unnamed) license that was adopted for simh v4.
I'm a user and not a developer but I hope that you all add simh-v3 and open-simh to pkgsrc. Currently I wouldn't touch "simh v4" post license change. That's just me, personally, however.

Thank you for everything!

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