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[bi]weekly policy summary

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

This is another summary of two weeks of activity on the policy list.
Work is underway for a new release of policy.

Note: for details of the policy process, see
http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/policy/ch3.html. Also, this summary is
available on the web at http://kitenet.net/~joey/policy-weekly.html.

                           Accepted Amendments
MIME support sub-policy (#46516)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed by J.H.M. Dassen; seconded by Raul Miller, Wichert
    Akkerman, Chris Waters, Brian White and Josip Rodin.
  * Adds section to policy about registration as a MIME handler. The
    added section references a new mime sub-policy document. This
    proposal just documents existing practice.
Tech-ctte: /usr/share/doc (#45561)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed by Joseph Carter; seconded by Julian Gilbey and
    Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho.
  * Proposal that we actually adopt the tech ctte's decision on
    /usr/share/doc, and use the way debhelper manages the symlinks as
    the reference implemntation.
Amend contrib definition (#45318)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed by Anthony Towns; seconded by Chris Lawrence, J.H.M.
    Dassen, Josip Rodin, Edward Betts, Marcus Brinkmann and Joseph
  * This proposes a new definition of the contrib section. It removes
    some of the things that would put a package in contrib, including
    packages that are too buggy, and packages that violate policy.
    Only licencing terms would determine if something goes in contrib.
Mailbox locking (#43651)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed by Roland Rosenfeld; seconded by Joey Hess, Thomas
    Kobienia and Mika Fischer.
  * "The Debian policy is not very clear in the definition of the way,
    mailbox locking should be implemented. It only points to a
    "reference implementation" (liblockfile), which is said to be
    NFS-safe, but it isn't with Linux kernel 2.2.*." The proposal is
    to make policy say exactly how locking should be implemented.
Virtual package 'ispell-dictionary'
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed by Santiago Vila; seconded by Julian Gilbey and Anthony
  * add ispell-dictionary to the list of virtual packages for
    "Anything providing a dictionary suitable for ispell".
/var/mail and /var/spool/mail (#42052)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed by Joseph Carter; seconded by Gordon Matzigkeit, Joey
    Hess and Santiago Vila.
  * This outlines a migration path from /var/spool/mail to /var/mail.
    Old systems will have /var/spool/mail with /var/mail a symlink.
    New machines will have the reverse. Packages using /var/mail
    should depend on the version of base-files that implements this.
Build-time dependencies on binary packages (#41232)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed by Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho; seconded by Roman Hodek,
    Santiago Vila, Stefan Gybas and Ian Jackson.
  * Proposes the addition of four new fields to debian/control to
    specifiy different kinds of source dependancies (and conflicts,
    etc). Does't handle packages that need unpacked source of another
    package to build.
Add VISUAL when checking for user's editor (#41121)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed by Steve Greenland; seconded by David Frey, Julian Gilbey
    and Chris Waters.
  * Programs may check VISUAL before EDITOR when trying to figure out
    what editor to use. sensible-editor already does this.
Rewrite of "Configuration files" section (#40766)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed by Steve Greenland; seconded by Joey Hess, Stefan Gybas
    and Kai Henningsen.
  * A replacement for section 4.7 that clarifies the different between
    "configuration file" and "conffile" and uses the two consitently.
    ( probably a consensus )
Wording cleanup w.r.t. conffile/configuration file (#40767)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed by Steve Greenland; seconded by Joey Hess, Julian Gilbey
    and Kai Henningsen.
  * This cleans up references to "conffiles" and "confuguration files"
    throughout policy.
Changelog.html.gz sanitization (#40934)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed by Joey Hess; seconded by Roland Rosenfeld, Edward Betts,
    Manoj Srivastava and Julian Gilbey.
  * A proposal to make a plain text dump of html changelogs available
    so changelogs are always available at a consitent location. The
    html changelog may optionally be included as changelog.html.gz
Data section (#38902)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed on 3 Jun 1999 by Darren O. Benham; seconded by Peter S
    Galbraith, Peter Makholm and Josip Rodin.
  * "Since there is interest in packaging census data, maps, genome
    data and other huge datasets I and since most people agreed that
    dropping them in main or contrib is not a great idea, I propose
    the creation of a data section to reside along side of main,
    contrib and non-free." Includes rules about what goes in this
Definition of extra priority (#33076)
  * Consensus.
  * Proposed on 8 Feb 1999 by Santiago Vila; seconded by Peter S
    Galbraith, M.C. Vernon, Jules Bean and Julian Gilbey.
  * Clarification of what the "extra" priority means.
SSH never free
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed by Raul Miller; seconded by Marco d'Itri, Joseph Carter
    and Joel Klecker.
  * Change definition of non-free to "contains packages which are not
    compliant with the DFSG". Currently, non-free includes packages
    with patent problems or other legal issues.
Config files must have manpages (#45406)
  * Stalled.
  * Proposed by Nicolás Lichtmaier; seconded by Oliver Elphick and
    Josip Rodin.
  * Require every config file have a man page.
Handling missing stuff in /usr/local (#44922)
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed by Juergen A. Erhard; seconded by Julian Gilbey and
    Joseph Carter.
  * Modifies policy to explicitly state that programs must not rely on
    anything in /usr/local
Virtual package ident-server (#45307)
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed by Chris Lawrence; seconded by Sean 'Shaleh' Perry and
    Josip Rodin.
  * Proposes a "ident-daemon" virtual package.
Changing policy on compiling with -g .. a better way (#43787)
  * Stalled.
  * Proposed by Ben Collins; seconded by Sean 'Shaleh' Perry,
    Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho, Mike Goldman, Zephaniah E. Hull, Roman
    Hodek, Marcus Brinkmann and Aaron Van Couwenberg.
  * Instead of always requiring packages build with -g (only to strip
    it later), the proposal is that they may optionally only build
    with -g if the user specifies they do so (by setting
    DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS=debug). This should reduce overhead in normal
    build circumstances.
FHS-compliant location of compiled examples (#42849)
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed by Joey Hess; seconded by Julian Gilbey, Chris Waters and
    Joseph Carter.
  * This is a proposal for dealing with architecture-specific example
    files. The idea is to put them in /usr/lib/package/examples, with
    symlink(s) as necessary to make /usr/share/doc/package/examples
    point to them.
    ( The main objection is that there may not be any files of this
    type. /usr/doc/samba-doc/examples/examples/validchars/msdos70.out
    does seem to be one. )
A proposal for README.Debian (#42554)
  * Old.
  * Proposed by Stephane Bortzmeyer; seconded by Anthony Towns and
    Richard Braakman.
  * Policy doesn't talk about README.Debian right now. This is an
    addtion to policy that says what should be in the file. It says it
    should include descriptions of changes made to the upstream
    source, what options were enabled in configure and make, and the
    packages needed to build the package.
Correct section 3.3 to take account of file-rc (#41547)
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed by Julian Gilbey; seconded by Roland Rosenfeld, Anthony
    Towns, Joseph Carter and Josip Rodin.
  * Part of policy doesn't make sense if file-rc is being used. This
    proposal is to clean it up so it does make sense, and moreover so
    it emphasizes that update-rc.d is the only thing that should be
    used to register init scripts.
Permit/require use of bz2 for source packages (#39299)
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed on 10 Jun 1999 by Chris Lawrence; seconded by Goswin
    Brederlow, Josip Rodin and Josip Rodin.
  * "I propose that we permit the use of bzip2 to compress source
    package files (.orig.tar and .diff for most packages, .tar for
    native packages). I further propose that the use of bzip2 be
    mandatory for newly uploaded source files, and that any existing
    source packages in the archive in gzip format exceeding 5 MB of
    compressed space be converted upon the freeze for potato."
    ( The reason this was proposed is because we're almost overflowing
    the second source CD already. This is a very contentious proposal.
Policy still suggests /etc/rc.boot instead of /etc/rcS.d (#32448)
  * Accepted.
  * Proposed on 26 Jan 1999 by Brian Servis; seconded by Julian Gilbey
    and Joey Hess.
  * Change policy to refer to /etc/rcS.d instead of the old
                            Active proposals
Echo -n (#48247)
  * Proposed by Raul Miller.
  * Amend policy to say /bin/sh must be a POSIX shell, but with the
    addition that "echo -n" must not generate a newline.
Split /cgi-bin/ into system and local parts (#32263)
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed by Brian White.
  * Use /cgi-lib/ for scripts in /usr/lib/cgi-bin/, leaving /cgi-bin/
    for the administrator.
Directories for local initialization scripts
  * Under discussion.
  * Proposed by Julio.
  * Add a directory /etc/init.d/local for locally installed init
    scripts, which can be handled by update-rc.d like the scripts in
    /etc/init.d. Also allow for ~/.rc.d directories.
    ( People seem puzzled about why this would be necessary at all. )
                              Old proposals
Section 3.2 should not allow static user ids (except root=0) (#43483)
  * Old.
  * Proposed by Andreas Jellinghaus.
  * Policy currently allows for static uid' to be hardcoded into
    daemons. The proposal is to change that so only dynamic uid's may
    be used.
Remove the incompatibility argument from 5.1 (#43077)
  * Old.
  * Proposed by Matthias Klose.
  * The proposal is to get rid of the part of policy (5.1) that
    mandates the format of architecture specification strings a
    program must use.
Test suite proposal (#41902)
  * Old.
  * Proposed by Ian Jackson.
  * This proposal deals with regression tests for packages. The idea
    is to make a separate package_version.tests.tar.gz file that
    contains regression tests. It details what should be in this file
    and how it works.
Debian-policy has an unclear statement on dependancies and priorities
  * Old.
  * Proposed by Chris Fearnley; seconded by Joey Hess.
  * A clarification to wording about package priorities. No real
    meaning seems to be changed by this proposal.
Naming Conventions for modules (#41113)
  * Old.
  * Proposed by Alexander Reelsen.
  * perl modules are named libfoo-perl; python modules are named
    python-foo. It's not consitent. This proposal is that we come up
    with a general naming scheme for all language modules that is
    consistant accross languages.
Get rid of undocumented(7) symlinks (#39830)
  * Old.
  * Proposed on 20 Jun 1999 by Roland Rosenfeld.
  * All programs are still required to provide manpages, but
    undocumented.7 is done away with by this proposal.
A better way to configure debian systems (#38703)
  * Old.
  * Proposed on 1 Jun 1999 by Goswin Brederlow; seconded by Falk
  * Another configuration management proposal.
Editor and sensible-editor
  * Old.
  * Proposed on 2 Jun 1999 by Goswin Brederlow.
  * Instead of having programs use $EDITOR and fall back to editor,
    just use sensible-editor.
A pre-install required space checking mechanism for Debian packages
  * Old.
  * 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.

Last modified: Tue Oct 26 23:00:57 1999

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