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Re: displaying EULA when installing package

On Thu, 2003-10-23 at 14:21, Graham Leggett wrote:
> Dag Wieers quoted:
> >>Because of many different tools your output will probably not be seen.
> >>It is better to do something like how java does their packages. The RPM
> >>has info in its summary mentioning the EULA and the entire RPM is
> >>wrapped in a shar file that doesnt unshar unless you accept the EULA.
> This isn't very user friendly though.

This thread has particular relevance to Java, so I am CC'ing this mail
to jpackage-discuss. We are always discussing how to (legally) install
Sun's RPM's, and recently, the installation of the netbeans package has
come up.

Any package like this (e.g. the one in this thread, or Sun's
Java-related packages) actually violates rules 8, 9, and 11 of the RPM
Developer's Guidelines all at once. These are the most crucial rules in
my option, as they are the one's dealing directly with the end user.
It's Sun's tricks like this that prevent people from using their
software entirely, and this, in turn, prevents major penetration of the
Java platform on Linux and other systems.

My suggestion is that you simply mark ``eula.txt'' as %doc. The first
time the program runs, you do have the ability to display this file (but
it's still bad, IMHO). Before the web, it was impossible to use *any*
software without first obtaining a copy of it, and then accepting the
EULA anyway. I don't see why the situation would have changed simply
because the distribution medium has changed. For example, if I send my
software though the post office by mail, I shouldn't leave a copy of my
EULA in *my* mailbox, I should deliver it to the end user with the
software, but I should not use the EULA as the envelope for my software
either). These two analogies cover (roughly) sticking the license on the
vendors website, but not in the software, or sticking the license as a
wrapper to the software, both of which Sun does, and both of them seem
to be new technologies made to annoy people, not something about the law
which has changed.

I have reprinted the relevant Fedora RPM Guidelines below, with

8. The package may not use interactive pre-install, post-install,
pre-uninstall, or post-uninstall scripts. The user must not be prompted
at anytime during the install, upgrade, or removal — Everything must be
completely automated.

Sun's techniques blatantly violate this rule. The fact that it is
wrapped in another archive is a semantic one, and entirely irrelevant.
It's still violated 100% in principle, and Fedora might simply want to
add (or contain any additional wrappers around the package which...) to
make it 100% clear.

9. The package must not write anything to standard error or standard
out. Redirect any messages to /dev/null if they are not necessary, or
write them to a log file.

This is violated all the time as well. People put things like ``Please
see the README''. Why don't they just put the README where it's supposed
to go (%doc) and then refer to it where they're supposed to
(%description, or in the software itself).

11. The package can not just unarchive the files in the post-install
script. This defeats the purpose of using RPM.

No kidding. And the only reason for this one is to blatantly violate
rules 8 and 9 anyway. It also has some bearing on trying to wrap the rpm
in something else just to violate all the rules of RPM, in which case,
why bother distributing Linux software at all.

I am unaware of how they do things on Windows, but apparently they don't
need things like automated unattended installs -- things which I use on
a daily basis.

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