If you're wondering why: they are still shipping a version of my software that I released in 2014. Since that's roughly a decade in software years, it recently began popping up a single warning dialog when it launches, imploring the user to upgrade. The comment in the source code justifying this action reads:
/* If you are in here because you're planning on disabling this warning before redistributing my software, please don't.
I sincerely request that you do one of the following:1: leave this code intact and this warning in place, -OR-
2: Remove xscreensaver from your distribution.
I would seriously prefer that you not distribute my software at all than that you distribute one version and then never update it for years.
I am constantly getting email from users reporting bugs that have been fixed for literally years who have no idea that the software they are running is years out of date. Yes, it would be great if we lived in the ideal world where people checked that they were running the latest release before they report a bug, but we don't. To most people, "running the latest release" is synonymous with "running the latest release that my distro packages for me."
When they even bother to tell me what version they're running, I say, "That version is three years old!", and they say "But this is the latest version my distro ships". Then I say, "your distro sucks", and they say "but I don't know how to compile from source, herp derp I eat paste", and everybody goes away unhappy.
It wastes an enormous amount of my time, and kind of makes me regret ever having released this software in the first place.
So seriously. I ask that if you're planning on disabling this obsolescence warning, that you instead just remove xscreensaver from your distro entirely. Everybody will be happier that way. Check out gnome-screensaver instead, I understand it's really nice.
Of course, my license allows you to ignore me and do whatever the fuck you want, but as the author, I hope you will have the common courtesy of complying with my request.
To the surprise of nobody, many of the people commenting on the Debian bug report take the attitude of, "Well if it's legal to do something, then it must also be right to do it", and want to distribute an altered version of my software against my explicit wishes.
As I said above, I'd really rather they not do that. I'd rather they not distribute it at all.
("Upgrade the software more often than every several years" is apparently an option they won't even countenance, but that's neither here nor there. Though in case you were wondering whether there have been serious bugs fixed since 2014 -- security-related bugs -- the answer is yes.)
The issue here is taking advantage of a creator's work, ignoring their wishes, and giving nothing back in return. That's just lame.