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Re: Status of Debian Policy


Christian Schwarz <schwarz@monet.m.isar.de> writes:

> 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. 
I completely agree! 

> The current structure (of packages installed on my system) is:
> 	Miscellaneous
> 	Development
> 	Document Preparation
> 	Information
> 	Emacs
> 	Programming
> 	teTeX
> 	Graphics
> 	Games
> 	General Commands
> Note, that only "Miscellaneous" has a colon (:) after it. This should be
> changed...

On my system there's also "Networking", "Communication", and "Console
utilities".  This made me think about using the package organization
in the distribution as a starting point. 

> 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.

The removal of empty sections can be controlled by command line
options (see the man page for an excellent explanation).  I agree
empty sections don't look good. 

> >  - 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...

I was thinking the same and see three possibilities to handle this:

1. using install-info directly with correct command line options 
2. using a script (implicit call of install-info using the default
   positions, possibly with override if absolutely necessary)
3. hard-coded in install-info (i.e. change current defaults values)

Option 3 is the most easiest, since it only requires the Info package
maintainer to handle things.  Options 1 and 2 require all packages
containing an Info file to be updated, either to call the script or to
change the currently used command line.  Option 2 is in fact the
soft-coded version of option 3.  

Initially, I would say we go for option 3, since I assume the Info
package is not that often affected by a new upstream version.
However, handling the empty section removal may make option 2 more
suitable, unless we hard code that in install-info itself too. 

> >  - 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.
> Cheers,
> Chris
> --                 Christian Schwarz
> Do you know         schwarz@monet.m.isar.de, schwarz@schwarz-online.com,
> Debian GNU/Linux?    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.debian.org   http://fatman.mathematik.tu-muenchen.de/~schwarz/


- -- 
Ardo van Rangelrooij
home email: ardo.van.rangelrooij@tip.nl
home page:  http://www.tip.nl/users/ardo.van.rangelrooij
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