[Openstack-devel] Websockify has been rejected from upload in Debian

Thomas Goirand thomas at goirand.fr
Thu Apr 11 09:23:18 UTC 2013

Hi Joel,

Thanks for your prompt reply, this is much appreciated.

Please let me reply with all my heart to what's bellow, hoping we can
agree in a way or another.

On 04/11/2013 05:42 AM, Joel Martin wrote:
> Thomas,
> On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 10:54 AM, Thomas Goirand <thomas at goirand.fr
> <mailto:thomas at goirand.fr>> wrote:
>     Well, why don't you just create the .swf file in your build process, and
>     remote the file completely? That would satisfy everyone. I, too, would
>     like to have a system which would work with every browsers!!!
> No, that would be a big hassle for me and for everyone who clones and
> integrates the master noVNC repository. Building the swf file from
> source is possible but it is temperamental and uses tools that are not
> part of standard distros (e.g. flex).

Can't you make that work with swftools / mtasc? What is the problem with
them? (sorry, I'm not a flash specialist)

>     - You could maintain your own downstream repo of noVNC that doesn't
>     > contain the binary pieces and merge changes into it.
>     Well, why don't you try to simply have a realy, open source and free,
>     software? Don't you have the source code for the .swf file? Where does
>     it come from?
> noVNC is already open source and free software; it fulfills all four
> fundamental freedoms of free software
> (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html).

That is not correct, since your repository doesn't even hold the source
code of the SWF files. At least, you should add such source code.

> It may not match the
> stricter requirements that Debian requires, but it is still 100% FOSS.

I don't agree. Not in the current state. 100% FOSS would mean that you
would provide the source code for 100% of what you release. Though
currently, there's no source for the .swf file, and the swfobject.js is

One better level would be to ship the source of both. Even better if you
could ship something which we could build in a Linux distribution for
the .swf object, though providing the source that could be used with
some kind of external non-free (or not available) program would still
better than now.

Could you at least agree to un-obfuscate the swfobject.js, and ship the
source code (is it a .fla file?) of the .swf file? If you feel like we
need to optimize swfobject.js into a compressed "binary", then there are
multiple tools available for that in Debian (and other distro).

> All the source necessary to use and modify noVNC is available. Lots of
> other projects include generated files in their trees (configure,
> Makefile, PNGs, JPGs, etc, etc)

This is totally orthogonal to the problem we are having here. Makefiles
are source files. If they are generated from another file, then most
likely, it is possible to include that in the build process.

PNGs and JPGs are "fine", because they are considered work of art and as
the source itself (unless they are generated by some kind of automated

> And just like those files, the swf file can be recreated.

>From which source file in your tree? Did I miss it?

> If you need me
> to create a git submodule link to the sources necessary to build the
> swf, I am fine with that.

It has to be in the same source tree, or the SWF file must go away, as
this makes your package non-free. Other distributions will have the same
problem, and that this isn't specific to Debian.

This would be truth as well in Ubuntu (I don't think I'm mistaking here,
Chuck and James can correct me if I'm wrong). It is just that they
didn't spot it. Since I warned them, they will have the same problem
too. Now that we're at it, I've added them as Cc: to this message (I
hope you don't mind).

In fact, what I would recommend in this case, would be to create a new
Git repository containing the non-free files. I might even be willing to
package them and send them in the non-free archive of Debian if you
think this is a good idea.

> If none of the solutions I suggested is acceptable, then please suggest
> a solution that does not involve making life harder for every other user
> and integrator of noVNC

Please don't bring the argument of convenience here. Microsoft Windows
might be more convenient, though we aren't using this as an argument in
the open source community. Richard Stallman so often explained (better
than I) why this isn't a point to make (you can read any of his
conference, you will hear about it). There is never an argument for
shipping some binary blobs with no source code attached.

> by forcing them to go through an arcane build
> process to build something that they are VERY unlikely to care to modify
> anyways

This is what we call free software my friend. Things have to build from
source, or it's not free!

> (but like I said, if they care to they can modify and build it).

Again, with what source file as input? I couldn't find that in your Git.

Hoping that I've been convincing, and that you wont just disregard my
points saying it's too much work or too complicated,

Thomas Goirand (zigo)

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