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Re: Proposal: a more general and flexible appoach of packages.


On Fri, 11 Dec 1998, Martin Schulze wrote:

> some issues of your proposel are already working.  Every package can have
> a mailing list referenced through foo@packages.debian.org.  This is already
> working for over a year.

Yes, I know.  But part of my point was that the way it works now is a bit
of a kludge.  My proposal addresses more general issues and tries to come
up with a more general approach incidentally offering solutions to some
other (potential) problem areas.

Please consider my proposal more for the bits about general package
administration.  IMHO having a better organised authoritative source for
package -> maintainer information is a big win in itself.  Generalising
the notion of "package" creates many opportunities for structured
communication.  IMHO as debian expands, this is a nice thing to have.

Also note that per my proposal, no complexity is added, but instead more
symmetry is created.  If dpkg can already handle virtual package (and it
is indeed an improvement to the system) then why shouldn't the Debian
organisation be able to handle virtual or "meta" packages? 

Notwithstanding my request for broader addressing of the matter, I'll
still make some nitpicks about the current situation :-)

> > Requirements:
>  a) Use me@debian.org or me@master.debian.org in the maintainer field
>     of package foo.

That still leaves in the dependency on the physical maintainer.  It also
makes the information in the Packages file authoritative for the
maintainer information.  This is Bad for several reasons, only one of them
being that the Packages file might be outdated.

>  b) Create a file .qmail-foo in your home directory on master.

Albeit probably a nice feature of qmail, for our purposes it is a silly
kludge if we depend on it for important parts of our communication

>  c) Put in addresses such as &me@nowhere.com\n&you@moon.org\n

If foo@packages were a Real List, automatic (un)subscription would be
possible and archiving would be a lot easier too.

> PS: This is Qmail centric so should probably not be used if we ever
>     want to switch to another MTA.

Some might consider that another reason indeed.



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