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Re: "Description improvement" probably not



On Sat, Oct 12, 2002 at 12:13:07PM +0000, Martin Wheeler wrote:
> On Fri, 11 Oct 2002, Martin Schulze wrote:

> > Joey Hess wrote:
> > > In filing that bug, Martin ignored my previous two protestations that I
> > > am capable of calitalizing words on my own, and that I disagree that
> > > this is necessary if the description is not a complete sentence.
>  . . .
> > To my knowledge there was consensous to capitalize the first word of
> > the one-line description as one should do with regular sentences.

> > This "best packaging practice" helps recognizing the description fast
> > for humans and is also documented in the Develpers Reference[1]

> >    For consistency and for an aesthetic concern, you should capitalize
> >    the first letter of the description.
>  . . .
> >  1. http://www.debian.org/doc/developers-reference/ch-best-pkging-practices.en.html#s-writing-desc

> As one who has spent the last 40[sic] years of his professional life
> lecturing on and practising the use of the English language for communicative
> purposes -- from undergraduate to post-doctoral level -- I would ask that this
> consensus be respected by all writers contributing to the Debian Project.

> Use of language is an extremely personal, and highly emotive, subject -- but
> even the most understanding and sensitive of publishing houses will insist on
> their own house rules being followed, if only in the name of consistency.

I'm not sure it's accurate to characterize this as consensus, however.
The last time the subject came up for discussion appears to have been in
March:
<http://lists.debian.org/debian-policy/2002/debian-policy-200203/msg00116.html>

I don't see consensus at the end of that thread.  Or in the archive:

<http://lists.debian.org/debian-policy/2002/debian-policy-200203/msg00112.html>

I definitely agree that consistency is important, but the fact is that
we currently do NOT have such consistency in package descriptions, so
there is no such "house rule" at present, and anyone who asserts so is
promoting their personal agenda on description formatting as if it were
doctrine.  Under the circumstances, I'd prefer that any house rule
that's established be a grammatically reasonable one, and I don't think
that capitalizing the first letter of a description (a noun phrase)
qualifies.

Steve Lanagsek
postmodern programmer

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