[Pkg-electronics-devel] bringing ngspice into main?

Carsten Schoenert c.schoenert at t-online.de
Sun Aug 13 21:38:57 UTC 2017

Hello Gudjon,

I'm currently co-maintaining the KiCad [1] package now for a while,
George is the current maintainer for this package.

Upstream is working in their development branch on support for schematic
simulation with spice for some time now. The next planned stable version
of KiCad will be version 5 and will be delivered with schematic
simulation by the libngspice library. And that's a feature I'd really
like to provide with a possible upload of KiCad5 to the Debian archive.

Right now the binary packages of ngspice doesn't ship the libngspice
library and I added some patches to my bug report #834335 [2] to solve
this. But the main problem for KiCad is that ngspice is in non-free due
the license issues within the source.

While DebConf17 Bdale was holding a BoF [8] about the future of the
pkg-electronics. And I was a day afterwards talking with Bdale about the
possibilities to get ngspice into main so probably other packages in
main what need ngspice also in some kind would also participate from that.
Unfortunately needs ngspice a critical review about the licensing issues
but that seems to me solvable by helping of other devlopers wit the
review of the code.
Last year was a short attempt of updating the Cider license to a DFSG
compatible version visible [4], but this has been stalled after a short
time, I can try to ping the author of the starting email about that.

I also was talking with Andreas if he has any objections or
disagreements that the ngspice package should stay in the Science team,
the outcome was also that it would be of course nicer if ngspice can go
into main.

So o.k. Gudjon, do you have any objections against if I would try to
figure out all the needed things to prepare a new upload of ngspice to
main and finally put the maintenance of the package into
pkg-electronics? I've already started some work to change the package
over to debhelper usage.

[1] https://tracker.debian.org/pkg/kicad
[2] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=834335

Carsten Schoenert

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