Some ideas to improve the debian policy
I want to tell you about some ideas I have , to improve the debian policy.
All the ideas have the same spirit: let the user choose what he wants to
install and what he doesn`t.
Is this list the right place to propose changes to debian policy ?
Here are my ideas:
* Pack the static versions of a library on a separate package.
Reason: In most cases , the static version of a library is not
needed. Almost all programs can be built with shared libraries.
I suggest to split the -dev package for a library
(for ej: libgtk-dev) in two separate packages: -headers and -static
(in this example: libgtk-dev and libgtk-static). This would allow the
user to choose exactly what he needs , and save a lot of disk space
(and also download time , when getting the files by ftp)
* When there several versions the documentation (html,postscript,info)
pack eack of them on a separate package.
Reason: you probably don't need to have several copies of the same
documentation at the same time. If you want to read it online, the html
or the info version is better. In case you want to print it, you probably
want a postscript version.
For example: for the glibc we might have
By doing this , the user will be able to select exactly what he wants and
save a lot of disk space.
* When writing a /debian/rules file , think of the user that (like myself)
prefer to download the source and build the binaries from the source.
When several packages are built from the same source , let the user
choose which ones he wants to build (if they are independent of each
other) , and explain (in comments) how to select the packages that he
want. For example I think that when building the glibc from the sources
I want the packages:
and not the -dbg or the - pic packages. Or when building libqt , I don't
want to build the static version.
Of course I can do this modifying the
/debian/rules script, but it would be nice if I can do this by passing
a parameter in the command line or editing just one line.
I suggest doing this in some uniform way for all the packages.
(I prefer to download the sources since
- they let me see how the program works and I may use them as an example
of how to program
- If I have the sources, I can modify the program
- The sources are more portable than binaries
- The sources are usually the best documentation for a program, specially
Needless to say, I support free software !)
* When installing the mo files for language translations (in
/usr/share/locale) let the user choose which languages he wants
(thought some environment variable ?)
If I don't speak german , why do I need the german translations ?. They
are just using disk space.
I hope that you like my ideas.
Pablo De Napoli