I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

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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 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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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby mor » 2016-04-11 10:29

spacex wrote:… then Debian should honor it and use something else

What I'm trying to tell you is that when you say "Debian should" you are referring to your own personal point of view, which is commendable and I can totally relate to but is ultimately incorrect.
Jamie should just use a different license if he wants his work to be used in a particular way.

The free license allows Debian and anyone else to politely ignore his plea.
This is where you are getting lost.

Think about this way: I get you a television set for your birthday and bring it to you at your party. After you unwrap it I tell you that I would like you to only watch reruns of "Magnum PI" on it.
Is that a gift anymore?
Or is it a guilt trap?
In order to comply with my plea you either have to keep a useless object in your home or not accept my present.
You certainly don't want that. ;)

Now, free software is not like a birthday gift per se, but in a similar way a developer gifts other users with his work and accepts that, just like you are going to watch everything you like on the tv set, users are going to do everything (within the boundaries of the license) they want with his program.


spacex wrote: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.

This is an entirely different matter.
Even if changing Debian's policies would probably make this issue of outdated versions of Xscreensaver go away, the argument here is about what happened, not how things would be if they were different.

spacex wrote: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.

But why?
It really baffles me when I hear this because there is really no need in the world for Debian to become something it isn't or, as you suggest, to double efforts and make a version of itself that is already available in many of the hundreds distros out there.

The way I see these attempts to change how Debian works, is like seeing someone trying to change -say- a tractor into a commuting vehicle.
Let's imagine Debian as a tractor, happily spending its days working the fields with plows and harvesters, then someone comes along, sees it and likes it because it is after all a good machine, that someone then starts using it even to go to his office downtown, but commuting is not as smooth. So he thinks that having different tires and maybe a bigger cabin with backseats for the kids would make it a much better and more practical ride, along with a few modifications to the aerodynamics and maybe different gear ratios, and the shocks and a nicer body, maybe a new paintjob.
Yeah, that's much better now, but it no longer is the tractor it was in the beginning.

You can even picture the analogy the other way around with Debian being a sedan and someone trying to use it in the fields, the point is the same: Debian is what it is and people use it exactly because it is Stable and "outdated" (aka very low maintenance) and that's its forte.
If you change it because you want it to be more apt (pun intended) for a different demographic, then by all means do, make you own distro like many have already and be done with it.
Nobody is forcing users to have Debian as their distro. If they like it but want it different then they want something else. And again, there are literally hundreds of choices out there.

Really, no need for Debian desktop edition or for any change in the policy, they already exist, they just do not have "Debian" in the name (well, some do, and most are "based on" anyway).

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

Postby spacex » 2016-04-12 01:20

Yes mor, but these alternatives doesn't exist for all the newbies coming to Debian looking for something suitable for their desktops. Also, there isn't all that many Debian-derivatives that are more current than Debian itself. They are few and far between, and not very well-known. Siduction is probably the most well-known of them. But it isn't something the mainstream population has heard about.

As for making my own "distro", I've already done that, and haven't been using anything besides my own distro for quite some time now. But that's besides the point, because it's not me I'm worried about.

Why do I stick with it if I dislike it as much? Because of "Live-Build". Easy as that really. But now that the live-build team has been pushed away, and the project pretty much is abandoned. I guess it isn't much of an argument anymore. I'm waiting to see what the live-wrapper team is able to accomplish, before I make the final decision whether to stay or leave. If I need to find an alternative to live-build, I might just as well do it somewhere else. In Arch for example.
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Re: I would like Debian to stop shipping XScreenSaver

Postby mor » 2016-04-12 09:36

spacex wrote:Yes mor, but these alternatives doesn't exist for all the newbies coming to Debian looking for something suitable for their desktops.

Try to think about the last part of this sentence with the tractor analogy in mind: "people coming to a tractor dealership looking for a sedan or a minivan or other street car anyway".

That's the error. Debian is a distribution meant to be stable and low maintenance, people looking for the next long awaited feature of their apps are simply in the wrong place.
Now, I understand why one that doesn't fit in the Debian's system would want to change things, but why would Debian and all those who, on the other hand, are with Debian exactly because of the way it is, want to change things?

And no, alternatives exist. What about Ubuntu and Mint or openSuse and Fedora?
No doctor prescribed Debian to people who want fresher desktops.
If people don't like Ubuntu's (and friends) policies with spyware and other shit like that, wouldn't it make much more sense to try and change Ubuntu's policies rather than mess with Debian's nature?

spacex wrote:Why do I stick with it if I dislike it as much?

Honestly that's not something that crossed my mind before. Now that you said it yes, I concur that Arch would be a more appropriate distro for someone who, like you, likes to be close to upstream.
And don't get me wrong, I too like to be close to upstream, even though it is not the reason why I run Testing/Unstable. I always figured that if I didn't like Debian I would be running Arch.
Also don't think it is because I don't like you criticizing Debian, actually I always welcome criticism (sensible and mature that is).

But this is completely OT because in this thread we are simply discussing the Xscreensaver matter.
Regardless of how Debian does things, I believe that even though Zawinski had all the rights to make a plea, Debian has absolutely no obligations to comply. But even having had all the rights to make a plea, he then chose a childish (at best) way to protest and thus brought on himself any action that did, may or will blatantly ignore his plea.

Your overall preference for a snappier developmental model makes you partial in considering Jamie's plea binding, but in order to understand how something like a plea has no relevance in free software think about the exact opposite where a developer insists on keeping an outdated dependency on his package, that prevents it from being suitable for more up to date systems, and he pleas everyone to either use a "stable outdated system" or drop his program, but not to change the dependency.
Or use your imagination and think about any unrealistic plea that any developer could attach to his work, similar to my tv set example.

Free software is used any day from people and for purposes that their respective developers wouldn't like, yet they don't plea, for instance, people of their opposite political view from using their software, or if they do, they know they can't do anything about it, and they're fine with it because ultimately software freedom is what's important.
If I was a Debian project manager I wouldn't want any non free software company to use a server or even a personal computer with Debian on it for their sites, I could make a plea about it, but ultimately either I believe in the importance of software freedom and accept they will use Debian, or I don't.
And I do.

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

Postby andros705 » 2016-04-12 17:37

I think that debian should include newest xscreensaver in stable distribution, I have already tried it and it works great, there is no bugs and I am aggree that debian should update most of his software.
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