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weekly policy summary

Here's what's been happening on debian-policy this week.

Note: for details of the policy process, see

Libtool archive (*.la) files in -dev' packages (#37257)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed on 4 May 1999 by Ossama Othman; seconded by Marcus
    Brinkmann and Marcelo E. Magallon.
  * .la files aren't useless, libtool can use them and they are
    essential to programs that use libltdl. Proposal is to include .la
    files in -dev packages if they are produced by the build process.
Logrotation (#37342)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed on 28 Apr 1999 by Balazs Scheidler; seconded by Brock
    Rozen, Raphaël Hertzog, Brian Almeida, Marco d'Itri and Joseph
  * Change to using logrotate instead of savelog.
    ( People asked for examples of packages using this last week --
    they have now been provided. )
Utmp group proposal (#37389)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed on 09 May 99 by Wichert Akkerman; seconded by Branden
    Robinson, Joel Klecker, Ossama Othman, Raphael Hertzog, Marco
    d'Itri, Joseph Carter and Karl M. Hegbloom.
  * Create a new utmp group that can modify utmp, programs that were
    previously suid root can be sgid utmp instead.
    ( Amended by Branden Robinson to make wtmp and lastlog also
    writable by group utmp. Unless I'm wrong about marking this as a
    consensus, it's high time it was turned into an amendment. )
                            Active proposals
Let's Debian blow... gracefully!
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed by Fabien Ninoles; seconded by Sean E. Perry, Edward
    Betts and Peter Makholm.
  * Creation of a sub-directory aside from main, contrib, non-free
    named data, that will hold non-program related data.
Automatic installation and configuration
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed on 25 May 1999 by Massimo Dal Zotto.
  * Similar to the "configuration of packages" proposal, this is a way
    to allow automatic configuration of packages. This one records
    answers as you install once and remembers them for use later
    (possibly on a different machine). It also includes question
    priorities, and a mechanism for storing install-time messages in a
    mailbox. This proposal includes working code. No changes need be
    made to dpkg for this proposal to work.
Rewrite of section 5.7 (Programs for the X Window System) (#38212)
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed on 23 May 1999 by Branden Robinson; seconded by Joey
    Hess, Joseph Carter, Antti-Juhani Kaijana and Brock Rozen.
  * Updates section 5.7 to reflect changes made in the great X re-org.
    Also modifies the section on motif, and also includes a few minor
    typographical changes elsewhere.
A pre-install required space checking mechanism for Debian packages
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed on 19 May 1999 by Manoj Srivastava.
  * The idea is to enable tools like apt to check if a set of packages
    will fit on a disk, taking various partitions into account. This
    will require adding something like the output of du to the package
    or to the Packages file or to a new file that can be downloaded.
    The details are still being hashed out.
Md5sum proposal
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed on 17 May 1999 by Piotr Roszatycki; seconded by Peter S
    Galbraith, Brock Rozen and Christoph Lameter.
  * Require a md5ums file be present in all packages.
    ( Very controversial. )
Configuration of packages
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed on 05 May 1999 by Brederlow.
  * Draft proposal to graft user-friendly and/or automatic
    install-time configuring of packages onto dpkg.
                            Stalled proposals
Separate menu policy (like virtual package list) (#37713)
  * Stalled.
  * Proposed on 15 May 1999 by Chris Waters; seconded by Edward Betts,
    Joey Hess, Joseph Carter and Steve Greenland.
  * Consists of some text to add to policy referring people to an
    external file that has the menu hierarchy in it. It's argued that
    this will make it easier to maintain the menu hierarchy, since
    Joost won't have to release a new menu package to do so. The
    proposed hierarchy is identical to that in #36051 with the
    addition of a top level Help menu and Apps/Databases.
    ( We may actually have a consensus here. )
Patented software == non-free?
  * Stalled.
  * Proposed on 10 May 99 by Joseph Carter; seconded by Davide G. M.
  * Amend policy 2.1.4 to remove reference to patents as something
    that may place software in non-free.
Adopt the FHS in place of FSSTND (#37345)
  * Stalled.
  * Proposed on 09 May 99 by Julian Gilbey; seconded by Joseph Carter,
    Aaron Van Couwenberg and Marco d'Itri.
  * Modify policy to require use of the FHS, with possible exceptions.
    ( A new version of the FHS is out, that does away with /var/state
    and some other things and may be easier to switch to. )
Software depending on non-US (#37251)
  * Stalled.
  * Proposed on 06 May 1999 by Marco d'Itri; seconded by Gordon
    Matzigkeit, Joseph Carter, Chris Waters and Davide G. M. Salvett.
  * Proposal to allow software that depends on software in non-us into
    main (currently restricted to contrib).
    ( This may be unnecessary given the recent re-org of non-us. )

Last modified: Fri May 28 17:11:37 1999

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