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Re: Request for more finely grained classification of packages

>>>>> "Laurent" == Laurent Martelli <martelli@iie.cnam.fr> writes:

    Laurent> I suggest that package classification be made out of
    Laurent> packages, because there's no
    Laurent> _one_true_classification_. If the package's
    Laurent> classification is stored in the package, we have to
    Laurent> change all the packages when we change the
    Laurent> classification.

Perhaps each package could declare a set of "tags" that indicate where
in the classification it wants to appear, along with a "tags version"
that indicates which version of the classification scheme (or schemes)
it complies with. So the package python-netcdf, to take a random
example, might declare something like:

# The standard, official tag scheme. Scheme name and version.
Tag-Scheme: debian 1.0
# Tags would identify the scheme name and value.
# It contains a library for Python...
Tag: debian languages/python/libraries
# And it can read and write netcdf format.
Tag: debian files/formats/readers/netcdf
Tag: debian files/formats/writers/netcdf

And pgplot5 (also chosen at random) might declare something like:

# The standard, official tag scheme.
Tag-Scheme: debian 1.0
# The purely voluntary, flamewar inducing tag scheme for indicating why a
# non-free package is in non-free.
Tag-Scheme: non-free 1.0
# It contains C and Fortran libraries...
Tag: debian languages/c/libraries
Tag: debian languages/fortran/libraries
# And can do these kinds of graphs.
Tag: debian graphics/plotting/2d
Tag: debian graphics/plotting/3d
Tag: debian graphics/plotting/contour
# Oh, and it violates clause 1.2.3 of DFSG 1.0.
# (Not really. I don't know why it's in non-free.)
Tag: non-free dfsg-violation/1.0/1.2.3

(Please don't start a huge thread about whether it's a good idea or
not to indicate in a more detailed way the reason for packages being
in non-free or non-US; just note that this mechanism would provide a
purely voluntary way of doing it.)

    Laurent> I think it'd be really nice to have an external index so
    Laurent> that different people can sort packages in different
    Laurent> ways.

Given tools that support this kind of classification scheme, it would
be comparatively simple to make them look elsewhere for sets of tags
that are distributed separately from the packages proper. Any user
could distribute sets of tags, or modifications to the packages' tags,
that any other user could use if they felt like it. "Hey, Joe Newbie,
use Joe Old-timer's package file at http://blah.blah.blah... it's
really helpful." "No, use Mr. So-and-so's at

And, this would open up a whole new arena for religious debates about
which classification scheme is best. That's got to be good.

(By the way, thanks for a great Linux distribution. I'd be signed up
as a maintainer already, but every time I find a piece of software I
want or need, somebody has already packaged it!)
I get my monkeys for nothing and my chimps for free.

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