[Build-common-hackers] licensecheck and binary blobs

IOhannes zmölnig zmoelnig at iem.at
Fri Aug 19 13:34:13 UTC 2011

hi all,

i have once again hit a problem with the automatic licensechecker and
binary blobs (e.g. images included in upstream packages)

licensecheck is a pretty simple program, as it basically does a grep for
things like "copyright" and "©" which gives a pretty good estimate.

unfortunately this detects a number of false positives when run on
binary files.

so far so good.

no the problem i'm facing is, that when generating a
debian/copyright_newhints file, cdbs will put the line containing the
copyright match into the "License:" field, which will make
debian/copyright_hints (which is compared with copyright_newhints) a
"binary" file, which in turn will make dpkg-source complain:

dpkg-source: error: unwanted binary file: debian/copyright_hints
dpkg-source: error: detected 1 unwanted binary file (add it in
debian/source/include-binaries to allow its inclusion).

to solve the problem on my side, i could either create a longish (and
complicated and hard to maintain) DEB_COPYRIGHT_CHECK_IGNORE_REGEX, or
add debian/copyright_hints to debian/source/include-binaries

personally i think both ideas cruft, as they only try to work around the
unexpectedly binary output of licensecheck.
(and is a repetitive work that should be taken care of by cdbs)

instead i would suggest to sanitize the output of licensecheck, in order
to keep debian/copyright_(new)?hints proper text files.

what do you think?


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