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Debian Policy released

Hello everyone,

After rather too long of a hiatus, Debian Policy has been uploaded
to Debian *experimental*.  It's in experimental for two reasons:

* Policy is not targeted for Debian stretch.  We're getting ready
  for the start of the buster development cycle.  Please don't prioritize
  updating your packages until stretch is released.  Please don't include
  Standards-Version changes in your uploads targeted for stretch.

* This release finally converts Policy from DebianDoc-SGML to DocBook.
  Many thanks to Osamu Aoki and Guillem Jover for their hard work on this
  conversion.  This is a significant change with downstream impact on all
  the rendered versions.  There will be bugs and formatting problems, and
  there will be unexpected impact on downstream consumers of Policy.  It
  will take a bit to sort those out.

I expect there to be a few more point-release changes to packaging and
formatting uploaded to experimental before uploading to unstable for the
start of the buster development cycle.  (I've indeed already noticed about
six minor bugs, including the missing release date in the upgrading

Due to the DocBook conversion, and the resources rightly devoted to the
stretch release instead, it may be a bit before the new Policy version
shows up properly in all the places it's published.

Here are the changes from the previous announced version of Policy

A.2. Version 4.0.0

   May, 2017


           config.sub and config.guess should be updated at build time or
           replaced with the versions from autotools-dev.


           New TARGET set of dpkg-architecture variables and new
           DEB_*_ARCH_BITS and DEB_*_ARCH_ENDIAN variables.


           New DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS tag, nodoc, which says to suppress
           documentation generation (but continue to build all binary
           packages, even documentation packages, just let them be mostly


           Automatically-generated debug packages do not need to have a
           corresponding paragraph in debian/control. (This is existing
           practice; this Policy update is just clearer about it.)


           Colons are not permitted in upstream version numbers.


           New Build-Depends-Arch and Build-Conflicts-Arch fields are now


           The recommended package name for shared library development files
           is now libraryname-dev or librarynameapiversion-dev, not


           The stable release of Debian supports /run, so packages may now
           assume that it exists and do not need any special dependency on a
           version of initscripts.


           New optional try-restart standard init script argument, which (if
           supported) should restart the service if it is already running and
           otherwise just report success.


           Support for the status init script argument is recommended.

           Packages must not call /etc/init.d scripts directly even as a
           fallback, and instead must always use invoke-rc.d (which is
           essential and shouldn't require any conditional).


           Instructions for upstart integration removed since upstart is no
           longer maintained in Debian.


           Packages may not install files in both path and /usr/path and
           manage any backward-compatibility symlinks so that they don't
           break if path and /usr/path are the same directory.


           Packages should assume device files in /dev are dynamically
           managed and don't have to be created by the package. Packages
           other than those whose purpose is to manage /dev must not create
           or remove files there when a dynamic management facility is in
           use. Named pipes and device files outside of /dev should normally
           be created on demand via init scripts, systemd units, or similar
           mechanisms, but may be created and removed in maintainer scripts
           if the must be created during package installation.


           Checking with the base-passwd maintainer is no longer required (or
           desirable) when creating a new dynamic user or group in a package.


           Dependencies on *-doc packages should be at most Recommends
           (Suggests if they only include documentation in supplemental


           The Mozilla Public License 1.1 and 2.0 (MPL-1.1 and MPL-2.0) are
           now included in /usr/share/common-licenses and do not need to be
           copied verbatim in the package copyright file.


           The https form of the copyright-format URL is now allowed and
           preferred in the Format field.


           The Perl search path now includes multiarch directories. The
           vendor directory for architecture-specific modules is now
           versioned to support multiarch.


           New adventure virtual package for implementations of the classic
           Colossal Cave Adventure game.


           New httpd-wsgi3 virtual package for Python 3 WSGI-capable HTTP
           servers. The existing httpd-wsgi virtual package is for Python 2
           WSGI-capable HTTP servers.


           New virtual-mysql-client, virtual-mysql-client-core,
           virtual-mysql-server, virtual-mysql-server-core, and
           virtual-mysql-testsuite virtual packages for MySQL-compatible

A.3. Version 3.9.8

   Released April, 2016.


           The menu system is deprecated in favor of the FreeDesktop menu
           standard. New requirements set for FreeDesktop menu entries.


           New instructions for registering media type handlers with the
           FreeDesktop system, which automatically synchronizes with mailcap
           and therefore replaces mailcap registration for packages using
           desktop entries.

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

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