[aur-general] sancho-gtk removal from [community]: discussion thread

bardo ilbardo at gmail.com
Tue Jul 15 15:09:09 EDT 2008

Hi fellow TUs, devs and archers!
I'm writing this long e-mail to discuss the current situation about
sancho-gtk, a [community] package I'm maintaining.

I inherited sancho-gtk, a front-end for mldonkey, when mOLOk resigned
from his TU position, and some time ago I checked if everything was ok
with it. In the PKGBUILD I found an ugly hack to download the
software, which is hosted on Sourceforge but isn't available at the
traditional download location. It is rather distributed through a
direct link in its homepage (http://sancho-gui.sourceforge.net/), but
that link changes every few minutes: because of this came the ugly
hack. The whole thing, I discovered, was done on purpose by its
author, whom I contacted for explainations.

He pointed out that the download page page states "no
redist/pkging/mirrors pls". I don't like forwarding private e-mails,
so here's a summary of what I found out and some of my assumptions.
 * The author doesn't like his software to be repackaged because he
doesn't want users complaining upstream for distribution-level bugs.
 * He doesn't really care if his user base drops to near-zero because
his software isn't easily available and integrated in linux
 * I wasn't able to find the application's source code (the GTK
version, at least) on his site, so I assume it is a closed source app.
When the author was asked to clarify his position, include a license
and, in case of a free one, the corresponding source code, he didn't
 * The author thinks software inclusion in a linux distro is "opt-in"
(his words), and states he never asked for it. When I pointed out that
free software has nothing to do with opt-in, he stopped answering my
 * The author never clearly stated (even though I asked) if we are
infringing any license by redistributing the software.
 * An important phrase I think i just have to report is "I don't think
a license has ever written any software", referring to his preference
of distributing his software only through the homepage.

I want to drop this software from our repos. Not because he asked for
it, but because it looks like this person doesn't really understand
what free software and a community are, and that we are persons, too,
with our rights. He's not the kind of person I want to deal with. I
also think he is in violation of Sourceforge terms, since he's
maintaining what looks like proprietary software on their servers.

What do you think about the whole thing?
I already decided to drop both sancho-gtk and mldonkey (its
development seems to be stalled), but there are more questions. Should
I notify him to Sourceforge in case he is infringing? Should I drop
the package to [unsupported]? Should I delete it? Should I hand it to
another maintainer?
I wouldn't want to see another ion3, but I don't think it's very
different. Should we try to define special policies for cases like


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