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Perl Police (was Re: Bug#10405: package naming)

[I'm pulling this thread over to debian-devel since I think this might be
intresting for more people.]

On Sun, 8 Jun 1997, Brian S. Julin wrote:

> Yeah, fine, close the report.  Should I open one with the
> deb-make maintainer about it's permissiveness, or will
> you?  Maybe I'll take it up later on the list when I'm ready
> to roll out the CPAN perl archive.  My main concern was
> finding a way to deterministically map perlish module names
> to debian module names with little or no chance of one module
> colliding with the other, but I figured out that I could use the
> '+' character instead of the ':'.  That would make Foo_Bar::Fnord::
> into foo-bar++fnord++, which IMHO is ugly as sin.  If dpkg can
> already handle the ':'s I'd prefer to use them but as you say
> discussion of that would be needed.  Fortunately now
> that I look at the CPAN module list most of them don't
> even have underscores in their names.


I'm the "Debian Policy Manager" and one topic of my "TODO list" is to
write some section about our "Perl Policy". That is, I want to have more
stuff of CPAN packaged up in Debian and I think we need a policy about
naming conventions (that's what this bug report is about) and how many
perl modules go into one .deb (for example, "libnet-perl" includes
several perl modules now). 

In "hamm", we currently have the following perl module packages:


Note, that the first one is called "DBD::MySQL". Thus, if you have
"aaa::bbb:ccc", the package named would be


if you follow this "implicit convention.

I think this naming scheme is quite reasonable. What does everyone else
think about it?

(I'm definitely against having more special characters in file names, as
`+' or `:'.)

> I have managed to get the MakeMaker based .deb builder to call
> deb-make when appropriate.  I have not yet integrated that
> make target code you sent; that comes next.  After I add 
> that and work on the /usr/doc/modulename stuff I may actually be 
> able to churn out a first wave of the simplest modules, 
> but none that require other modules until I get automatic
> dependency stuff worked out.  I'll mail an announcement when 
> the code reaches some level of usefulness.

This sounds as you've set up a "default procedure" of how to pack CPAN's
module into .deb's. Great! I always thought of something like that but I
never had time to do so.

Since CPAN's modules all apply to a certain "standard" (i.e. all makefiles
have the same structure) such a default procedure is definitely a good
thing. (Perhaps we could add this functionality to deb-make. If it
discovers a CPAN module it could set up everything for the maintainer
automatically and he/she would just have to fill in the description, etc.)

Perhaps we should "reassign" this bug to the "debian-policy" package
instead of closing it, so that we don't loose all the mails.

Any comments?



--                 Christian Schwarz
                    schwarz@monet.m.isar.de, schwarz@schwarz-online.com,
Don't know Perl?     schwarz@debian.org, schwarz@mathematik.tu-muenchen.de
Visit                  PGP-fp: 8F 61 EB 6D CF 23 CA D7  34 05 14 5C C8 DC 22 BA
http://www.perl.com     http://fatman.mathematik.tu-muenchen.de/~schwarz/

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