I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2016-04-07 07:18

montagdude wrote:Is it really that much trouble for the developer to simply redirect bug reports about old versions to the maintainers of the various distributions? His method of bug handling seems to be his personal email, so maybe that's the problem if it's causing that much annoyance for him.

^^This.
All the handwaving and swearing and bugging end-users with popups most won't know what to do with, then abusing people in the bug report and effectively giving an ultimatum to change the distro's release policy or (please) don't use his code...
Maybe too long spent looking at marching ants and drawing penises on users lockscreens.
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby wizard10000 » 2016-04-07 13:24

I will say that I got new versions of xscreensaver in Sid this morning. Coincidence? I think not :D
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby keithpeter » 2016-04-07 13:29

Quite funny really: jwz is of course famous for his key role in the Netscape -> Mozilla open source transition. He seems to find the *concept* of a stable distribution not changing over a timescale of 2 or 3 years other than for severe security concerns surprisingly difficult to grasp.
With regard to future versions of Debian, again I think you should be
more clear in your license terms. Don't pretend to publish it as free
software, but then use pretty "please", time bombs and cursing to get
users to not use their freedoms.
-- Peter Nowee

I don't know who Peter Nowee is but I think he has a point here. The GPL is the GPL. No 'moral' or other residual rights.
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby mor » 2016-04-07 15:21

spacex wrote:Free software or not, Debian shouldn't go against the developers wishes.

Allow me to disagree.

First of all, you can't say "free-software or not" and do as if it is something one can put aside in this matter. It is in fact all that matters.
The whole point of free software is to leave freedom to the user, it can't be freedom if it comes with caveats.

Don't get me wrong, I think Zawinski's plea in the code is perfectly understandable (however obnoxiously passive aggressive) and just has he acknowledges that, being his work free-software, in the end a user will do "whatever the **** he wants", he should know that a plea like that is just a plea and it doesn't belong in free-software.

Honoring pleas is a noble thing to be willing to do, and to some extent I too feel like we should honor Jamie's, but then again, this is really a matter of freedom and I am not inclined to let even the noble sentiment of honoring pleas trump the importance of being always able to exercise the freedom that is granted by the license.
Xscreensaver has a feature that some users do not want, that feature can be changed because Xscreensaver is free-software and not "use-as-author-wishes-ware".
Asking to do as he wishes is fine, expecting it not so much.

A final consideration must be done about jmz's demeanor. I am definitely not bothered by strong language and cursing, thus I'm not hanging on the mere crudeness of his words.
But the underlining attitude and arrogance, especially directed at users who were trying to have a constructive discussion and bridge the gap between his plea and Debian's policies… well, that made me kinda not care about his plea anymore.

In conclusion, I don't know what happened with Live-Build and I have no idea about what you're referring to when you say you "don't like how Debian handles stuff these days", but this matter is quite simple: it is a most trivial issue (not even a First World Problem, as Steve said, but much much more trivial), handled by jmz in a ridiculously childish and annoying way.

Bye ;)
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby spacex » 2016-04-07 22:15

mor wrote:
spacex wrote:Free software or not, Debian shouldn't go against the developers wishes.

Allow me to disagree.

First of all, you can't say "free-software or not" and do as if it is something one can put aside in this matter. It is in fact all that matters.
The whole point of free software is to leave freedom to the user, it can't be freedom if it comes with caveats.

Bye ;)


Sure, you may disagree.

I don't mind end users changing the code for themselves. Obviously, that is a freedom the user has. But, if you change the code and redistribute it to others, then you should fork it and change the name instead. No matter how small the change may be, the app is no longer authentic, and the original developer can in no way be expected to support or be responsible for an app where someone else has changed the code. In cases like that, it's much cleaner if that someone forks it, renames it, and redistribute it with the new name. The someone who patched it, is obviously responsible to support it. That someone is the one who should receive bug reports. Not the original developer.

But then, obviously the fork needs to be developed and maintained. It's much more comfortable to call the developer a "prick" and just patch away anything Debian doesn't like. Still leeching on the "pricks" future work and development. There isn't to many who could do what Zawinski does, and in my mind a certain level of gratitude and respect is called for. Debian should never take anyone's effort for granted. After all, it's free work, and we shouldn't want to push good developers away.

What happened with live-build, is something you can evaluate for yourself:
https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=804315

The ironi is that those who attempted this high jack, hasn't been able to add uefi-support to the live images themselves yet. Which was the root of the issue to start with. That makes it a big joke in my mind.
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby spacex » 2016-04-07 22:28

keithpeter wrote:I don't know who Peter Nowee is but I think he has a point here. The GPL is the GPL. No 'moral' or other residual rights.


I don't agree. Common decency and moral always apply. It's the developer who do Debian a favour. Not the other way around.

If you change the code and redistribute something, you should also change the name and sign it with your email or other contact info. No matter what the license is. Because it's cleaner, and because it's the right thing to do.
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby wizard10000 » 2016-04-07 22:56

I haven't looked, but I wonder if the RHEL folks are having the same discussion?
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2016-04-08 00:43

spacex wrote:If you change the code and redistribute something, you should also change the name and sign it with your email or other contact info. No matter what the license is. Because it's cleaner, and because it's the right thing to do.
No, because that is how distributions work, by curating, integrating and distrubuting upstream software - otherwise every end user gets to grab code from each project and do all their own compiling integration etc.

Debian has a responsibility to provide software that meeds the needs of it's users, has package maintainers to package according to policy, take bug reports etc. and it's very clear what has been changed in any code, the original source and any patches are separated in the source packages.

In an ideal world, bug reports go to the package maintainer (which reportbug does) and only relevant new bugs get sent to upstream by the maintainer.
People reporting direct against old versions are stupid, but that isn't Debian's problem and jwz's "solution" is still retarded and won't change the stupid peoples behaviour anyway.
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby mor » 2016-04-08 10:07

spacex wrote:I don't mind end users changing the code for themselves. Obviously, that is a freedom the user has. But, if you change the code and redistribute it to others, then you should fork it and change the name instead. No matter how small the change may be, the app is no longer authentic,

Stop for a second.
No matter how small the change, a fork is needed? :shock:
Have you any idea of how many forks would be needed all throughout *nixland if this was how things were intended to be?

Read this from FSF's faqs.

spacex wrote:and the original developer can in no way be expected to support or be responsible for an app where someone else has changed the code.

That is true, it shouldn't be that Debian users go directly to him with problems on the obsolete version, but as dln already explained there are parts of the mechanisms that are out of Debian's control.
And Jamie's "solution" to nag end users with a bothersome popup, as if most of them could do anything about it, is asinine, he should have instead worked with Debian on ways to make users file bugs on Debian's tracker.

Bye
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby lukas » 2016-04-08 16:12

dilberts_left_nut wrote:In an ideal world, bug reports go to the package maintainer (which reportbug does) and only relevant new bugs get sent to upstream by the maintainer.
People reporting direct against old versions are stupid, but that isn't Debian's problem and jwz's "solution" is still retarded and won't change the stupid peoples behaviour anyway.

The Debian package maintainers are asked to inform upstream about bugs and also tell them about patches made. iirc
https://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/deve ... g-handling
say "5.8.3 bug housekeeping", item 6.
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby cpoakes » 2016-04-08 21:23

A developer (in this case Jamie) is free to license their code however they wish. If they want to place restrictions on their code beyond those of the GPL, they can or rather must utilize a different license. If Jamie's sincere request were incorporated as a license restriction, it would fail to meet the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) and never have been included outside of the non-free repository. He could have required any derived works to carry a different name (screenweasel anyone?) and remained DFSG compliant, but he did not opt to do so.

Time bombs and nags are egregious features. Other developers and distros manage to close bug reports for long-corrected problems without going to such lengths attempting to avoid them. While a developer's wishes are certainly to be considered, if and when their code gets modified it violates neither the spirit or the (limited case) law of the GPL no matter how cantankerous they get.

Update: As pointed out by blondquirk, Jamie's work is not GPL'd but based on the text generally referered to as the MIT license which is even less restrictive than the GPL including permission to modify and distribute. My argument remains unchanged. If Jamie's request were incorporated as a license restriction, this would still fail to meet the DFSG.
Last edited by cpoakes on 2016-04-21 13:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby No_windows » 2016-04-09 06:27

Screensaver? This isn't 1995. I removed it from my system. I only know what this is about because a booted a SolydX VM that I haven't changed much, and the message popped up for a moment.
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2016-04-09 09:43

No_windows wrote:Screensaver? This isn't 1995.

In all fairness to jwz, a screen-locker is a vital piece of software and his version is much better than GNOME's...
:)
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby blondquirk » 2016-04-10 11:24

Just my 2 cents
    1. The license of xscreensaver is not GPL. It is more like BSD-style. Unlike GPL, xscreensaver license is not clear about distributing modified versions.
    2. xscreensaver development is not done in a public repository.
I think Debian should not ship the newest versions into stable in such cases when important system component code is not well-checked by public.
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby spacex » 2016-04-10 23:16

mor wrote:Stop for a second.
No matter how small the change, a fork is needed? :shock:
Have you any idea of how many forks would be needed all throughout *nixland if this was how things were intended to be?


Well but this isn't just a small little tweak of the configs, it's an adjustment to match the Debian release cycle, and if the developer doesn't want outdated versions to be used in current releases, then Debian should honor it and use something else, or fork it and develop the new fork themselves. Or live with the time-bomb. The developer has to be allowed to inform that the version is seriously outdated and old.

Or the best solution would obviously be if Debian could become a little flexible, and accept newer versions of some apps in Stable. The "not likely to change" policy is just stupid. When a newer version is better, stable enough, and is no threat to the stability of the system, then the new version should be accepted in stable. Period.

But then again, it's no secret that I disagree with the Debian policy and cycle. Debian should pick up the pace, and have a new release every 12 months. That would put Debian somewhere in between where Debian is now, and Ubuntu, in terms of being current. Still more conservative than Ubuntu, but not as stale and outdated as today.

Not that I need it, because I can use testing/unstable, but you can't present something as outdated as Jessie to desktop users, and then warn them about testing/unstable. In that case, Debian should warn desktop users against Debian all together. Actually, I think that Debian should divide into two different releases. One conservative server-edition, and one more current desktop-edition.
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