[Fedora-packaging] Including License doc in packages

Paul Howarth paul at city-fan.org
Thu Jun 29 12:31:14 UTC 2006

On Thu, 2006-06-29 at 13:12 +0100, Tim Jackson wrote:
> Paul Howarth wrote:
> >     SHOULD: If the source package does not include license text(s) as
> >             a separate file from upstream, the packager SHOULD query
> >             upstream to include it.
> > 
> > So upstream should be requested to add the license text in their
> > distribution, but the package need not contain it until upstream does
> > this.
> Indeed, and getting license files in upstream packages is certainly a 
> Good Thing in the general case. However, this ignores the case where 
> (rightly or wrongly) it is not normally done upstream. (e.g. PEAR), 
> probably because for tiny modules like PEAR modules where they are often 
> installed in relatively large numbers, you would end up with a large 
> number of duplicated license fields.
>  > In the special case of the package maintainer being the same as
>  > upstream, I think there is merit is pushing a bit harder for this.
> I agree. In this particular case, I have no problem in including the 
> license text in the package upstream, but at the same time I believe 
> it's not conventionally done, so by the same consistency logic I 
> probably shouldn't make one PEAR module be special, *just because* I 
> happen to be maintaining a Fedora package for it. (I'm not saying there 
> isn't necessarily a general argument for including license files in 
> every module, just that that doesn't appear to be the convention at the 
> moment, so even if I solve this particular issue by including it, there 
> are millions of other modules out there that don't).

It's very common for perl modules not to include the license text too,
but in the cases where the upstream has included it, the Extras packages
also include it as %doc. This does tend to result in a very number of
copies of, for instance, the GPL, but the space taken up by these is
still very, very small as a proportion of the size of the distribution,
and anyone that's really struggling for space always has the option of
installing packages using rpm's --excludedocs option.


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