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Re: Package-created usernames



So here's a straw man draft for a decision on package-created
usernames:

  -8<-

  RUBRIC

  1. We exercise our power in Constitution 6.1(1) to specify the
     contents of Debian policy documents, and that in 6.1(5) to
     offer our opinion.

  2. Maintainers of policy documents should consult in their usual way
     on the detailed wording(s) needed to give effect to our decision,
     and must then make changes to policy accordingly.

  3. Debian package maintainers should implement our decision
     immediately where practical.

  PUBLIC NOTICE

  4. Debian hereby claims the portion of the username and groupname
     namespaces which consist of names starting with a capital letter
     D.  Such names are `Debian user and group names'.

  5. Debian names are allocated by Debian Developers.  Everyone is
     encouraged to use the Debian name consistently with the way it
     is used in the Debian package(s) and the corresponding Debian
     documentation (whether in official Debian policy or in individual
     packages).  Everyone is strongly discouraged from using Debian
     names in any other waay.

  6. Non-Debian Free Software developers who need a reserved username
     for some purpose are invited to contact Debian (at the time of
     writing, via the debian-policy mailing list).

  DEBIAN PACKAGING

  7. It is best if usernames and groupnames (`names', henceforth) used
     by packages are easy to change.  Maintainers should bear this in
     mind, and should consider make names configurable if this
     does not cause other problems.

  9. Individual names used by Debian packages should be Debian names,
     documented appropriately if the usage is not obvious.  The names
     currently in base-files are an exception but none more should be
     added.  Packages where the username is hard to change, or where
     it cannot be changed without rebuilding the package, must use a
     Debian naame.

  9. Debian packages should not claim any other large sections of the
     namespace.  Conventions such as S at the start of SLIP account
     names are useful but the user must be able to configure and
     override these in case it conflicts with local policy.

  10. All software in Debian should cope with names starting with
     uppercase letters.  Such users and groups should be treated as
     system users and groups; for example, mail should not be accepted
     for them by default.

  11. Names are generally case-sensitive and their case should be
     preserved.  Where names occur in contexts defined as
     case-insensitive by external standards (for example the DNS)
     maintainers should consider whether system users should appear in
     the external namespace at all.  Simply case-smashing names is
     always forbidden since a system may have names which differ only
     in case but which are very different users or groups.

  -8<-

Ian.


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