Dear Technical Committee,
the program rename.ul is a bulk file renaming program with a versatile and simple syntax. It is part of the public software util-linux on kernel.org https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/util-linux/ and is probably present in every Linux distribution including Debian for at least 14 years up to "Buster".
A user requested in Debian bug report #926637 (https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=926637)
to include rename.ul in Debian's alternatives system. The
package maintainer replied:
As a result, the maintainer completely removed rename.ul from
the package util-linux without providing any further reference
to this Debian policy.
Another Debian bug report #966468 (https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=966468) to provide rename.ul in util-linux again was set to "WONTFIX" without giving any further reason.
In Debian bug report #982944 (https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=982944
users complained about the arbitrary removal of rename.ul from
util-linux and argued:
- no Debian policy could be found for the removal of rename.ul
from util-linux based on interface differences in the
- interface differences are part of the alternatives system,
and program examples were given
- removal of rename.ul broke workflows existing for decades,
including a scientific workflow at a university
To summarize: the program rename.ul of the util-linux package has been around for decades in Debian and probably every other Linux distribution. The maintainer removed this program referring to a Debian policy which seems not to exist. Furthermore, differences in program interfaces in Debian's alternative system can be found in other program examples and are no reason to remove such a well-established program. Thus, the removal of rename.ul from the util-linux package appears to be both unnecessary and arbitrary.
Since the maintainer did not respond to any of the user
arguments in the above bug reports, I kindly request the
technical committee to revise the removal of rename.ul from the
package util-linux, hoping that this removal will be reversed.