[Dev] [libretools - Feature Request #2403] [libremakepkg]: eradicate mksource() from abslibre

labs at parabola.nu labs at parabola.nu
Fri Jul 26 22:56:15 GMT 2019

Issue #2403 has been updated by freemor.

I agree this should be  automatic instead of the semi clunky mksource()

The way I see it the issue is with Parabola trying to provide a source tarball
as that forces us to make a libre one as we can not provide the non-libre one.

The need to provide a libre tarball is unclear, if not false on its face as
building "version next" of something will always require pulling the non-free

It might be better to forget about source tarballs. PKGBUILDS pull the source
they need. The PKGBUILDS in abslibre will always clean that source making it

As bill-auger pointed out above PKGBUILDS in abslibre in no way induce people
to install non-free. The do the opposite and provide the path to freedom.

Providing the "How" (as in how to clean that source) is always more instructive
then just giving someone pre-cleaned source.

Must people that will be playing at the show me the source/pkgbuild level will
probably like myself see the libre package as an unnecessary hustle that I
never really have to deal with as all the work in liberating the source would
just move from prepare to mksource() but every version I'd end up pulling the
non-free, figuring out what needs fixing, and adjusting mksource. rolling a
tarball that no one will ever use, then building from the libre tarball instead
of just doing in all in prepare() and forgetting about creating a  next to
unused libre source

Feature Request #2403: [libremakepkg]: eradicate mksource() from abslibre

* Author: bill-auger
* Status: info needed
* Priority: discussion
* Assignee: 
* Category: 
related to forum thread https://labs.parabola.nu/boards/18/topics/125

IIRC when discussing the 'ruby' package, we concluded that it was probably intended per the FSDG, to provide complete and pre-cleaned source-balls to the distro users; which entails the devs to keep some of the libre-fications tools private

the FSDG does not require support for versions of 'foo' that were not included in any distro release however; but OTOH, this PKGBUILD contains instructions for downloading known non-free software

on the third hand (the philosophical hand), the 'gist' of the four freedoms is not about possessing or sharing non-free software; but that the user is able to do with it as they see fit - if the only thing that one wishes to do with that software is to merely posses it or share it, then anything redistributable would satisfy the 'gist' of the four freedoms for that person

probably the simplest way to resolve this class of issue, is to add a note to the PKGBULID with sed above every instance of 'mksource()', asking the reader to ignore it and ask a parabola dev to publish the intermediate source-ball, if they are building ahead of the current release; then to publish the missing source-ball for any enthusiastic user who asks for one - a better solution to this class of issue, would be for the PKGBUILD to explaining how to run mksource() and have the mksource() function create the source-ball with expected libre name in the sources() array - if that does not conflict with the FSDG - an even better solution to this class of issue, is to eliminate it by eradicating mksource() from abslibre somehow, even if that is simply moving the PKGBUILD to a private git branch

this incident is not a peculiar though - it is currently systematic AFAIK; so i consulted the FSDG:

  "A free system distribution must not steer users towards obtaining any nonfree information for practical use, or encourage them to do so. The system should have no repositories for nonfree software and no specific recipes for installation of particular nonfree programs."

there is another clause that might suggest that this use case is within the guidelines; although it is in the "Documentation" section

  "In general, something that helps people who already use nonfree software to use the free software better with it is acceptable, but something that encourages users of the free software to install nonfree software is not."

libre-fications would seem to fit into that documentation exception - id say the key point is that such scripts do not install the program "for practical use" - the use-case in which the user is interested, is to download a non-free tarball, and to liberate it, without viewing or executing any of the files within it; for the sole purpose of using the cleaned sources in freedom - it would seems better to instruct people how to liberate non-free software rather than impeding their curiosity or ambition; though it may snag upon some FSDG caveat 

some options:

* should consult the FSDG mailing list about this grey area
* put these on the wiki as documentation, instead of in PKGBUILDs
* libretools could be made to download the file into memory instead of writing a hard copy
* hide all such scripts at the cost of impeding enthusiastic users who want to help

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