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Bug#575059: Should Package-Type be included in udebs or not?

This message is written with my Lintian maintainer hat on, not with my
technical committee member hat on, to be clear.

Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org> writes:
> On Thu, 11 Mar 2010, Cyril Brulebois wrote:

>> following the instructions given by Frans in [1], I've written a tiny
>> check to ensure I wasn't missing any occurrences in the bunch of udebs
>> I'm currently adding. I guess it would be better to check what happens
>> in the resulting binaries, but I wanted to be aware of such issues
>> *before* even building those packages; that's why I implemented it so
>> that it checks the source control file. Hopefully, you'll get the idea
>> and either move it entirely, or only “duplicate” it for the binary
>> packages.
>>  1. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2010/02/msg00524.html
> [...]
>> +Tag: package-type-in-debian-control
>> +Severity: important
>> +Certainty: certain
>> +Info: There is a Package-Type field in the <tt>debian/control</tt>
>> + file.  This field is only relevant to the build process and should
>> + not be embedded in the resulting binary package.  As a consequence,
>> + XC-Package-Type should be used instead.

> I'm a bit annoyed with lintian officializing usage of the non-official
> field name.

On the Lintian side, I saw the patch come in from someone who's actively
working on udebs, checked the history cited in the patch, saw that it was
requested by Frans Pop, and considered that a fairly authoritative source
for what d-i wants.

In Lintian, the d-i team is considered authoritative on what should and
should not be checked in udebs.  We will almost never second-guess the d-i
team on anything related to udebs, since they exist for the use of the
installer and involve special issues peculiar to them.  I think the only
major thing we ever pushed back on is insisting on keeping
Standards-Version in the source packages for udebs.

> It's counterproductive IMO. The issue should be resolved at the dpkg
> level. Unfortunately the underlying issue has never been resolved
> between Guillem and the d-i team, you can find the discussion here:
> http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=452273

There seems to be a lot of bikeshed painting going on there.  While I'm
sympathetic to Guillem's desire to generalize, given that the d-i team
owns the bikeshed in question, I'd personally be inclined to let them
paint it whatever color they want.

> Hence I'm seeking advice from the technical committee. In the mean time,
> I think this warning should not be kept in lintian.

As a Lintian maintainer, I'm not (yet) seeing a good reason to remove it.

Note that other parts of Lintian already expect XC-Package-Type and don't
recognize Package-Type, so it's the path of least resistance in Lintian to
keep it as-is, although we also could fix that depending on the results of
this discussion.  Currently, XC-Package-Type seems to be the way that this
is done, so at the least Lintian is currently requesting consistency.  In
the face of debate, consistency is always a good default position.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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