taskSavannah Administration - Tasks: task #6046, Submission of mftrace


task #6046: Submission of mftrace

Submitted by:  Han-Wen Nienhuys <hanwen>
Submitted on:  Fri 03 Nov 2006 02:56:36 PM UTC  
Should Start On:  Thu 02 Nov 2006 11:00:00 PM UTC Should be Finished on:  Sun 12 Nov 2006 11:00:00 PM UTC
Category:  Project Approval Priority:  5 - Normal
Status:  Cancelled Privacy:  Public
Percent Complete:  0% Assigned to:  Sylvain Beucler <Beuc>
Open/Closed:  Closed Effort:  0.00

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Fri 22 Dec 2006 12:18:35 AM UTC, comment #17: 

yes, you may, but probably private email is a better medium.

Han-Wen Nienhuys <hanwen>
Thu 21 Dec 2006 11:09:45 PM UTC, comment #16: 

Thanks for letting me know.
I'll close the request.

May I remind you of SCO, though?

Sylvain Beucler <Beuc>In charge of this item.
Thu 21 Dec 2006 01:09:46 AM UTC, comment #15: 


I've moved mftrace to http://lilypond.org/mftrace and http://repo.or.cz/w/mftrace.git.

Sorry for taking up your time, but I'd rather be sloppy and spend
my time on other things.

Han-Wen Nienhuys <hanwen>
Thu 07 Dec 2006 09:24:16 AM UTC, comment #14: 

1. Indeed, I didn't see:
Copyright (c) 1999--2006 by the authors
'by the authors' is quite vague.

I thought it was only you and Jan.

What we're trying to convey at Savannah, is that copyright is the foundation of copyleft, is our only legal protection and is not to be played with.

Hopefully we'll get right of this overcomplex system someday - right now this is not an option.

If you decide to make this a top priority for your project, and consider that having a Savannah account and its tools will help you in fixing copyright matters, then we may create the account now - and we'll let you report progress within, say, one month.

2. Note that I didn't say 'GPLv3', but 'GPL v2 or later'.
We ask authors to publish their changes under this licensing scheme when they submit a project at Savannah, for the reasons I explained before.

Sticking to GPLv2 does not prevent against future loopholes. It will also have people rewrite your code under GPLv3 if at some point in the future you're not available for relicensing and they need to use a (v2-incompatible) v3'd library in combination with mftrace.

At the same time, if the FSF suddently decide to drop copyleft from the GPLvN:
- this is questionnable because not "similar in spirit" to previous versions of the license
- Projects will still be available under free GPLv(N-1)
- In the worst case you lose copyleft - not the whole program. But as I said this would be questionnable in court.

So as a long term decision I personaly license my code under v2-or-later.

If you think that's not possible we can either ask RMS to reconsider this decision about Savannah or don't host the project here :/

I see that project Lilypond was approved at Savannah a long time ago (2002), probably before nongnu.org was initiated, so this may sounds surprising to you, but we work this way for at least 3 years - you can check the other pending submissions in this tasks tracker.

Sylvain Beucler <Beuc>In charge of this item.
Wed 06 Dec 2006 11:56:48 PM UTC, comment #13: 

1. If we're splitting hairs, I have to ask each and every copyright
holder now as well, so that doesn't make a difference.

2. On principle, I'm against agreeing to something that isn't final.

Han-Wen Nienhuys <hanwen>
Wed 06 Dec 2006 10:36:31 PM UTC, comment #12: 

> Note that (some) GNU packages don't include (c) notices
> at all in their README files.

Maybe it depends on the size of the README. If the file is too small it can't really be deemed "copyrightable" :)

> the docs are also under GPL, mainly for reasons of brevity
> (the GFDL is longer than the README)

OK. For a manual we require that it'd be available at least under the GFDL :)

> I've asked -email is unavailable- about the year ranges ;
> for now I've left them.

Apparently you don't trust maintain.texi this much. I guess I won't complain.

There's a last point to check: as I mentioned one point of using the full GNU GPL header is to specify the GPL version.

In your source, I see alternatively no version, or version 2 only. I cannot determine whether you did so willingly or whether this is an oversight, so I'm asking you :)

We consider licensing under the "GNU GPL v2 only" is problematic.  Would you agree to license your project under the "GNU GPL v2 or later"?

The reason for this is that when we publish GPL v3, it will be important for all GPL-covered programs to advance to GPL v3. If you don't put this in the files now, the only way to port your program to GPL v3 would be to ask each and every copyright holder, and that may be very difficult.

Sylvain Beucler <Beuc>In charge of this item.
Mon 04 Dec 2006 04:14:20 PM UTC, comment #11: 


- added notice boilerplate stuff.

- (c) notice in the documentation

- the docs are also under GPL, mainly for reasons of brevity (the GFDL is longer than the README). Note that (some) GNU packages don't include (c) notices at all in their README files.

- man page has a comment, but not a visible (c) notice in the manpage itself, as is common with manpages.

- I've asked -email is unavailable- about the year ranges ; for now I've left them.

Han-Wen Nienhuys <hanwen>
Sun 26 Nov 2006 04:15:50 PM UTC, comment #10: 

The full GNU GPL header specifies the version (2 or later), and the non-warranty statement may need to be complete in order to be legaly significant.

I admit that, not being a lawyer, I can't explain everything from maintain.texi - however I don't have authority to dismiss part of it either.

How about asking licensing@gnu.org? They this clarification could make it to maintain.texi.

Sylvain Beucler <Beuc>In charge of this item.
Sun 26 Nov 2006 04:06:46 PM UTC, comment #9: 

I understand the need to include the actual license in the package.

I fail to see the necessity of full GPL header. Yes, the standards say so, but no, they don't explain why. As I understand it, without any statements, the copyright defaults to the strongest protection implied by the distribution mechanism, so a shorter header doesn't hurt me. Especially, FSF's insistence on correct (c) years puzzles me.

The reason I oppose to this is practicality: developing when the top
of each source file has a bulky header is an annoyance. I wouldn't
mind so much if Emacs had a setting which makes it hide the header
automatically, though.

Han-Wen Nienhuys <hanwen>
Sun 26 Nov 2006 03:46:38 PM UTC, comment #8: 

This is 'education' whenever there's a chance to do it :) Submission time is a good opportunity.

I realized that even I would have been lazy enough not to lint my legal code during the initial import - fortunately we Savannah hackers decided not to approve our own projects submissions, so we can feel what a project submission truly feels like.

Of course, when we're reported a blatant lack of effort in this regard, we can start a discussion with the devs independently of project approvals. For example, user ~hanwen just reported me that the mftrace code lacks some copyright/license notices, and enticed me to emphasize the importance of clean legal documents when the very notion of copyleft protection relies on copyright :)

Another example is when a user reported proprietary code in project qemu.

Public domain is indeed far easier to use (just a line in each file stating so) - but you've got no protection whatsoever.

Sylvain Beucler <Beuc>In charge of this item.
Sun 26 Nov 2006 02:32:12 PM UTC, comment #7: 

so it's burocracy, ie. leaving mftrace in lilypond exempts it from linting?

Han-Wen Nienhuys <hanwen>
Sat 25 Nov 2006 05:40:34 PM UTC, comment #6: 

That's an option. Remember, though, that any project opened at Savannah will go through the same process of legalese linting - so maybe it's better to have a couple standard headers or file skeletons ready for such situations :)

Sylvain Beucler <Beuc>In charge of this item.
Sat 25 Nov 2006 03:59:05 PM UTC, comment #5: 

thank you.

as per the FAQ recommendation , I will rerelease under a more permissive license. (if only to be done with this nitpicking - which I find rather unproductive.)

Han-Wen Nienhuys <hanwen>
Fri 24 Nov 2006 06:42:58 PM UTC, comment #4: 


I'll nitpick a bit about the copyright notices, following

To sum up:
- Please do not abbreviate copyright years
- Add the complete (not short) GNU GPL header
- Add a notice to the man page.
- Add a @copying section to the Texinfo document, using the complete GFDL header.

If you prefer the verbose mode, here's the standard canned text :)

In order to release your project properly and unambiguously under the GNU GPL, please place copyright notices and permission-to-copy statements at the beginning of every copyrightable file, usually any file more than 10 lines long.

In addition, if you haven't already, please include a copy of the plain text version of the GPL, available from http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.txt, into a file named "COPYING".

For more information, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-howto.html.

If some of your files cannot carry such notices (e.g. binary files), then you can add a README file in the same directory containing the copyright and license notices. Check http://www.gnu.org/prep/maintain/html_node/Copyright-Notices.html for further information.

The GPL FAQ explains why these procedures must be followed.  To learn why a copy of the GPL must be included with every copy of the code, for example, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#WhyMustIInclude.

Sylvain Beucler <Beuc>In charge of this item.
Thu 23 Nov 2006 02:09:19 PM UTC, comment #3: 

I've made changes to my git repository, adding short (c) notices to all the applicable files. I thought I a comment to the tracker, but something went amiss, I think.


the git repo is at


Han-Wen Nienhuys <hanwen>
Sun 19 Nov 2006 11:14:30 AM UTC, comment #2: 


Sylvain Beucler <Beuc>In charge of this item.
Sun 12 Nov 2006 09:11:06 AM UTC, comment #1: 


In order to release your project properly and unambiguously under the GNU GPL, please place copyright notices and permission-to-copy statements at the beginning of every copyrightable file, usually any file more than 10 lines long.

The same goes for the documentation (GPL or GFDL) - in this case, using the @copying section.

Also, the address of the FSF has changed, and is now:

  51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA  02110-1301  USA

Please update the copy of the license:

Please make those changes and post a comment in this tracker :)

Sylvain Beucler <Beuc>In charge of this item.
Fri 03 Nov 2006 02:56:36 PM UTC, original submission:  

A new project has been registered at Savannah
This project account will remain inactive until a site admin approves or discards the registration.


While this item will be useful to track the registration process, approving or discarding the registration must be done using the specific "Group Administration" page, accessible only to site administrators, effectively logged as site administrators (superuser):



Full Name:

System Group Name:

  non-GNU software &amp; documentation

  GNU General Public License V2 or later

  mftrace is a small Python program that lets you trace a TeX bitmap font into a PFA or PFB font (A PostScript Type1 Scalable Font) or TTF (TrueType) font. It is licensed under the GNU GPL.

mftrace is at


Other Comments:
  mftrace CVS Is currently inside the lilypond project, the homepage on my account at xs4all.nl.  I'd like to move to savannah, and use this project to experiment with GIT on savannah.

Han-Wen Nienhuys <hanwen>


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  • -email is unavailable- added by Beuc (Posted a comment)
  • -email is unavailable- added by hanwen (Posted a comment)

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    Follow 4 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2006-12-21 Beuc StatusIn Progress => Cancelled
        Open/ClosedOpen => Closed
    2006-11-12 Beuc StatusNone => In Progress
    2006-11-12 Beuc Assigned toNone => Beuc

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