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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • This does sound like a very sucky situation, but I think it's hard to characterise it as the fault of the Debian maintainers.

    • Debian can't (currently) distribute CPAN Data::UUID, because it carries no statement of the terms under which it may be distributed.
    • Debian can (and do) distribute ossp-uuid [ossp.org], Ralf S. Engelschall's C library for generating UUIDs.
    • Ralf's library comes with a Perl module named Data::UUID which purports to be compatible with CPAN Data::UUID. (That is, Ralf Engelschall is the person who decided to reimplement an existing module under a different name and with a different version-number sequence, not the Debian maintainer.)
    • It turns out that Ralf's Data::UUID Perl module has a bug which means it's incompatible with CPAN Data::UUID. That's certainly unfortunate, but it's not actually uncommon in my experience for software to have bugs.

    Try as I might, I can't construe this situation in such a way as to apportion blame to the Debian maintainer. You might claim that the Debian maintainer should have avoided packaging the Perl module part of ossp-uuid, but that would break the expectations of people who use ossp-uuid. As it happens, the Debian package instead breaks the expectations of people who use CPAN Data::UUID. But the precise breakage is one that wouldn't have been predictable to the Debian maintainer.

    What do you think the Debian maintainer could or should have done differently?

    • I just want to know who to flog heavily with a wet noodle when someone files an RT about "uuid generation not working, I'm getting errors in DBIx::Class::UUIDColumn", and wasting time going "Is Data::UUID installed? Yes. Hmmm....why is it not working...oh wait...which Data::UUID...the Debian version or the CPAN version..."

      I realize it's not totally the maintainers fault...but at the same time, some red flag should have gone off when someone says "well, we can't package the CPAN version for licencing reasons
    • Did they try and contact the author?
      • No one contacted me. They may have tried to contact Alexander G., whom I've been unable for years.
        --
        rjbs