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Re: Status of Debian Policy

On 15 Jun 1997, Ardo van Rangelrooij wrote:

> I have another policy issue which is related to topic 11 (see below).
> The current layout of Info entries in the main Info menu (in the file
> /usr/info/dir) looks rather messy.  I found the following "descrepencies":
>  - not all packages are placed in an appropriate section
>  - the descriptions are not formatted consequently
>  - some sections are somewhat large (this is personal)
>  - some descriptions are somewhat large (this is personal too)
> I believe we can do better. Therefor, I propose an extension/change to
> Section 3.2.3 of the Debian Policy Manual:

Great! Thanks for the proposal. A few points though...

>  - During install of an Info documents you MUST specify a section.
>    Preferably use the section the package belongs to in the Debian
>    distribution.  As a starting point the "dir" file in the base-files
>    package could already contain these sections, albeit empty.
>    We could also use a different, sometimes more logical grouping. E.g.,
>    I'm using the following sections for the development packages:
>     - compilers
>     - linkers
>     - interpreters
>     - generators (i.e. bison, flex, gperf, etc.)
>     - libraries
>     - development tools (i.e. make, gdb, etc.)
>     - internals (i.e. gdb-internals, stabs, etc.)
>    If the Info doc has a lot of subentries, make a separate section
>    for it, as has been done for the GNU file, text, shell, and shar
>    utilities.

I suggest that we define several sections which should be used. If someone
has an info file which does not fit anywhere, he has to ask on
debian-devel for it and it will eventually be added to the Policy Manual. 

The current structure (of packages installed on my system) is:

	Document Preparation
	General Commands

Note, that only "Miscellaneous" has a colon (:) after it. This should be

Note, that AFAIK install-info automatically removes empty sections from
the "info dir". I think this is actually very good. I don't want to have
all those empty section in the dir file of the base system.

>  - Start the description at a to-be-determined fixed position, e.g.
>    first line at position 41 and second and subsequent lines at position
>    43.  This unclutters the layout, but the positions should be such
>    to leave enough room for a short, one-line, to-the-point decription.

Can't we simply change "install-info" to do this automatically? This would
make it a lot easier...

>  - Instead of using the upstream provided description, provide an own
>    one-line one which fits on the same line as the menu entry.  A three
>    line description for awk may be nice but clutters the layout, e.g.

Correct. (For example, the "Make" entry is _way_ too long.)

> In the light of topic 11 the above may be not that important anymore,
> but if we plan to keep Info docs around (I have not heard otherwise
> yet) I believe we should discuss the above.

I'm sure the info docs will be available in the future! The question of
topic 11 was which format the .deb's should ship:

   - only info; html in extra .deb
   - only html; info in extra .deb
   - html _and_ info

> I was also wondering whether we plan to organize the documentation
> under dwww in a way similar to the Info docs (sectioning, layout,
> etc.).  Anybody some thoughts on this?

I think Jim was working on such an enhancement for dwww. We should ask him
when his is back.



--                 Christian Schwarz
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