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DEP5: CANDIDATE and ready for use in squeeze+1

(This is an updated version of the short message posted earlier to
-project, re-sent to d-d-a as suggested by Zack.)

In August 2007, Sam Hocevar created the CopyrightFormat[0,1] wiki page
to create a machine-readable format for debian/copyright files. Earlier
this month, about three and a half years and a long, meandering route
later, the spec is considered ready for release. Along the way it got
turned from a wiki page into a Debian Enhancement Proposal, number

 [0] http://wiki.debian.org/Proposals/CopyrightFormat
 [1] http://wiki.debian.org/Proposals/CopyrightFormat?action=recall&rev=1
 [2] http://dep.debian.net/deps/dep5/
 [3] http://svn.debian.org/wsvn/dep/web/deps/dep5.mdwn?rev=153&sc=0

A few days ago, acting as a driver for DEP5, changed the status of the
specification to CANDIDATE, from DRAFT. This means it is ready for use,
and that no great changes are expected anymore.

Quite a number of people have used quite a number of different versions
of the spec over the years. All those earlier versions should be
forgotten and files updated to the new version. However, as we are in
the middle of a freeze, it would be prudent to wait until squeeze is

If you haven't followed the development of the spec at all, here is a

* its use is entirely optional
* it does not require any more detail than free-form files
* it uses the pseudo-RFC822 format familiar from debian/control
* some tools are being developed to check or generate the files

If you are interested, please give the spec a quick read. If you find
any real problems, it is not too late to get them fixed.

If you have written, are writing, or would be interested in writing
tools to read or write DEP5 files, please follow the latest spec.
Getting the tools ready before squeeze's release would be great, since
then we're all ready to start new development. For example, the lintian
check should be updated. The wiki page[0] has a list of known
implementations, some more ready than others.

There is work[4] going on to integrate the spec with the policy package.
Once that happens, the canonical URL for the spec will change; this will
be announced separately, when DEP5 moves to ACCEPTED status.

 [4] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=609160

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