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policy on editor/pager support

Hi folks!

There was some discussion about how to implement the new "editor/pager" 
policy on debian-policy the last days. A few people told me that they do
not know this policy, so I'll explain it here.

This topic is documented in Policy Manual, section 4.3 `Editors
and pagers'. 

The idea is simple: some programs require an editor or pager program to
edit or display some file. The system administrator should have the
possibility to specify which editor/pager should be used as default. The
user should be able to override this. 

Here's how we implement this:

  - Programs launching an editor or pager:

    When a program needs to start an editor/pager, it should check for the
environment variables EDITOR/PAGER first. If these or not set, it should
fall back to the programs /usr/bin/{editor,pager}

    Since this is hard to implement in some programs, two simple shell
scripts have been provided: /usr/bin/sensible-{editor,pager} (They simply
check for the env vars and fall back to /usr/bin/{editor,pager}) 
These scripts can be used as editor/pager in the program.

  - Packages providing an editor or pager:

    Every package which installs an editor/pager that's suitable for
/usr/bin/{editor,pager} should provide an `alternative' via the
`update-altenatives' script.

  - The base system:

    The Debian base system already provides an editor (ae) and a pager
program (I think `more`) so there is no need for a package to depend
on a `editor' and `pager', nor is it necessary for a package to provide
such virtual packages.  

The current situation: /usr/bin/sensible-{editor,pager} have been
implemented; some programs use /usr/bin/{editor,pager} (e.g. less) but no
editor/pager provides /usr/bin/{editor,pager} for now.

As a start, the base system should provide these commands so that at least
some editor/pager is found when calling /usr/bin/{editor,pager}. (The
appropriate bug report will be reassigned to "ae" soon.)

So if you maintain a package which is affected by this new policy, please
update it soon.

If you are using a package which is not updated yet, please check out the
bug tracking system if this has already been reported, if not, feel free
to report a bug.



--                  Christian Schwarz
                   schwarz@monet.m.isar.de, schwarz@schwarz-online.com
                  schwarz@debian.org, schwarz@mathematik.tu-muenchen.de
                PGP-fp: 8F 61 EB 6D CF 23 CA D7  34 05 14 5C C8 DC 22 BA
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