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Re: lintian -- detecting hundrets of bugs within seconds...

On 29 Jan 1998, Manoj Srivastava wrote:

> john> I wrote:
> >> Perhaps because they are bugs in lintian?  I think lintian is a
> >> good idea, but we have to have a way to override it.  Surely you
> >> don't expect it to be infallible!
> john> Joost writes:
> >> Fortunately, somebody who is capable of writing something like
> >> lintian, is also capable of predicting that lintian will never be
> >> perfect. That must be why, already in the initial announcement, the
> >> authors said that everything would be overridable.
> john> I know that.  It appeared to me that Manoj was objecting to that
> john> very thing.  
> 	I guess my concern was the possible dilution of the efficacy
>  of lintian by providing too facile a method of bypassing the errors
>  reported. 

That's the dilemma: one the one hand you want an easy way to override
lintian's error messages (if lintian should have a bug and there is no
easy way to override it, people will start to hate lintian--which would be
worse than having no lintian) and on the other hand you don't want
maintainers to override lintian's error messages just to get the package
installed in the archive but w/o checking/fixing possible bugs.

That's why we considered the following solution: The lintian-overrides
would have to be included in the corresponding changelog file entry, for

  foo (1.0-5) unstable; urgency=low

    * Recompiled with libc6, fixes: Bug#98765, Bug#98766
    * Removed `rm -rf /' from postrm script, fixes:#99999
    * bypass lintian:
      [shlib-without-dependency-information usr/lib/logwrites.so.1.1]

    -- Wile E. Coyote <coyote@debian.org>  Wed, 29 Oct 1997 14:22:37 -0600

(The `shlib-...' is a possible lintian error tag. By mentioning it in the
changelog file, lintian will not report it again and thus the installation
will not fail because of this bug.)

When the overrides are included in the changelog entries, they will get
into the .changes files automatically, so they are visible to others
through the package announcements. This way, hopefully lintian overrides
will only be used where possible and for good reasons. (The reasons for
using an override could also be explained in the changelog.)

Of course, all this will only work if lintian has less bugs than the other
packages :) i.e., overrides will have to be used in rare cases only. 
That's why lintian has to stabilize and has to be tested a lot by
different developers before we can implement something like that. 



--          _,,     Christian Schwarz
           / o \__   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
   \          /         http://fatman.mathematik.tu-muenchen.de/~schwarz/

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