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Bug#681687: missing mime entry

On Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 12:34:19AM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Neil McGovern writes ("Bug#681687: missing mime entry"):
> > As I understand it, there are still a number of issues with this
> > approach (.desktop files do not contain enough information to get
> > argument ordering correct in all cases, and it's far too late to start
> > using a new auto-generation system this late in the cycle).

> I don't think it likely that the TC will want to overrule the Release
> Team's decision on this point.

> So I hereby propose the following TC resolution:

>   1. The Technical Committee agrees with Neil McGovern's analysis of
>      the situation regarding evince's missing mime type entry.

>   2. If changes are desirable to our system for dealing with mime
>      type entries and desktop files, including changes to policy or
>      additional automation, these should be made via the usual
>      development and policy amendment processes.  It is now too
>      late to do this for wheezy.

>   3. We do not disagree with the Release Team's assessment that
>      the failure of the evince package to provide a mime type
>      entry is a release critical bug.

>   4. We therefore decline to overrule the Release Team.

I concur with this.  update-mime is a Policy requirement; maintainers don't
get to unilaterally decide that bits of Policy are obsolete and ignore them
on the basis that the applications they care about are using a different
interface.  Maintainers have a duty to either follow the Policy, or engage
the Debian community to get Policy changed.  And I think the GNOME
Maintainers haven't done the latter because they know it wouldn't fly - this
is a change that breaks compatibility with other software and renders the
system as a whole buggier, and changing Policy doesn't paper over that.

I'm inclined to think that this should be considered RC for a lot more
packages than just evince.  I'm not going to go hunting those, but I
definitely support the release team's position that it be RC for evince in
particular, because evince is the default pdf viewer and pdfs are a very
common document type to be passed around between applications that don't yet
implement the freedesktop standard.

Now, I think providing a tool to auto-translate .desktop files into mailcap
entries is a perfectly appropriate way to go about solving this bug, if
someone chooses to do that.  If such a tool emerges, I think that's great
for Debian as a whole, and we can consider revising Policy to consider
.desktop files the primary interface instead.  But until we have such a tool
working in the release, it's the responsibility of the evince maintainers to
make sure their package complies with policy.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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