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metaconfig source control/distribution and Debian's DFSG

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From:
Dominic Hargreaves
Date:
September 25, 2014 21:16
Subject:
metaconfig source control/distribution and Debian's DFSG
Message ID:
20140925211632.GT1024@urchin.earth.li
Hi,

The Debian project has recently received a bug report indicating that
the perl source package we distribute does not comply the the DFSG[1]
since the preferred form of modification of Configure is not provided.
You can see the bug report at [2].

I was able to mostly replicate Configure by following the procedure at
[3], but it took some googling to find that, so it's not obvious
(and even if it was, we're not shipping the contents of that repository
with perl, so we still fall foul of the basic principle).

Could someone fill me in on why the metaconfig units are not part of
the main perl source tree? It'd be much more convenient if they were
part of the perl source (and there were clear instructions for using
them included).

If we have to, we can make a tarball of that repository and include
it with the perl source package, but it seems like it would we should
explore the possibility of fixing this discrepancy upstream, rather
than working around it in Debian. In fact, it's likely we'd also have
to supply the patches between the current metaconfig output and what's
actually in the perl release tarball, since Configure is explicitly
allowed to be patched even though it's generated.

Any thoughts about the best way of making this cleaner, or why we
shouldn't?

Thanks,
Dominic.

[1] <https://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines>
[2] <https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=762638>
[3] <http://perl5.git.perl.org/metaconfig.git/blob/HEAD:/README>

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