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Re: could Launchpad be used solely for bug tracking?


On Wed, Apr 08, 2020 at 11:04:06AM +0100, Pierre A. wrote:
> I am a user of Mathematica, which a well known commercial software,
> definitely not open source and not free.
> Of course this software is not perfect and indeed as it is complex and
> constantly evolving, it has many bugs.
> I have thought it could be interesting for the community of users (and
> possibly even the software editor with whom I have no link) to have a public
> catalog of curated bugs.
> Is it technically feasible with Launchpad?

It's certainly technically possible to use Launchpad only for bug

> Does it break any rule of Launchpad?
> I thought it was better to ask first before trying.  Thanks for advice.

Thanks for asking.

It's not really a clear fit with
https://help.launchpad.net/Legal#Project_eligibility, since the
underlying project isn't free software, as you say.  That said, you
wouldn't actually be distributing non-free software in this case; and
our main concern from a ToS point of view is that Launchpad isn't
providing free infrastructure for non-free software development.

I do have a few specific concerns about anything along these lines:

 * It would have to be absolutely clear that it's unofficial, for all
   kinds of reasons.

 * Would it actually work?  My experience is that bug lists that don't
   have input from the developers are of very limited use;
   non-developers often aren't in a position to work out how bugs are
   related (for example, whether two symptoms both stem from the same
   cause), and this can cause a great deal of confusion.

 * I would be concerned about Mathematica's authors finding this, then
   coming to Canonical and saying "hey, you're hosting a site which is
   basically bad-mouthing Mathematica [whether that's fair or not], and
   we want you to stop".

So, while it's possible we might effectively turn a blind eye to this
not being quite within our project eligibility terms, I feel that it
might be storing up trouble for ourselves to do so.

Colin Watson                                    [cjwatson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]