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Re: [gNewSense-users] Teach Me

From: Kevin M. Dean
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Teach Me
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2007 13:43:22 -0400
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Interesting catch. :)

Debian packages contain a few things. The first is a set of text files
that give information on the package (dependancies, package maintainer,
conflicts and so on) and contain basic information on how to compile and
install the package. This is the "control" aspect of the package.

The second part is "data", which in the VAST majority of cases contains
binary files that will be installed.

An empty package doesn't actually install anything, just runs the
"setup" scripts.

HOWEVER... That's somewhat irrelevant here, considering that
elilo-installer isn't a Debian package, it's a udeb.

udebs are used during the Debian Installer process to set variables and
do bulk package installation depending on those variables. In this case,
elilo-installer checks the architecture, and if it's an amd64-Mac or an
Intel Itanium architecture, it installs elilo as the boot loader. If it
is NOT one of those architectures it does nothing.

This packages, as of this moment, is useless in gNewSense BUT may be
useful in the future if and when there is a naitive AMD64 port.

As to the license, I'm not "technically" sure what the non-software
aspects of a debian package are... My guess would be that they're public
domain, but that's ONLY a guess. Whatever it is, it complies with the
DFSG which almost certainly is Free Software.

I'd recommend e-mailing the debian-legal mailing list and asking for
clarification on this; it could have some very interesting reprecussions.

- -Kevin

Peter Rock wrote:
> OK, here is a first for me. I tried to check the copyright on a
> package named "elilo-installer", but there is no copyright. I don't
> mean public domain, I mean no copyright...
> In the package
> is a readme file that says...
> "This is an empty package, whose postinst autodetects drives and
> installs elilo, which is the ia64 equivalent of LILO."
> So if this is an "empty" package, then it must be free. But what is an
> "empty" package? And how could something that is "empty" actually
> perform a task? And how should I mark it? Pardon my ignorance...
> _______________________________________________
> gNewSense-users mailing list
> address@hidden

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