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Re: Announcing Debian Package Tags

On Mon, 2003-04-28 at 15:38, Enrico Zini wrote:

> That may probably be all the necessary adoption we need for having tags
> in debian, however there will probably be issues: what about CD
> installations where no network is available?  How do they access the
> tags database?  

The tags database should be shipped with the debtags package (or with
individual packages if we choose to store tags in them, as I think we

> How often will we have vocabulary updates?  

However often we want in unstable...never in stable, in my opinion.

> What if
> debtags goes into stable and users won't be able to update it (and the
> vocabulary it contains) as often as required?  

I don't think it makes sense to be updating the tags in stable.  debtags
update is a cool thing for developers (until we have the tags inside the
pacakges), but I don't really see the utility for most Debian users.

> > 2) Do you forsee tags being maintained outside of the packages in the
> > future?  For developing the tag system this makes sense, but it seems to
> > me that maintainers should have more direct control over this somehow.
> We've been thinking about having the maintainers responsible for the
> tagging of their packages, with the risk of ending up with untagged or
> poorly tagged packages and lots of bugs in the BTS.  We also have been
> thinking about how to implement some cooperative editing structure, with
> the risk of having anonymous people doing the mess instead. :)

Well, can't you just have the debtags database be authoritative for
packages without a Tags: header?  Poorly tagged packages are another
issue of course, but it just seems like another package bug to me.

> We probably need a mixture of both.
> We could add a Tags: field to debian/control, and we could merge that
> information with the one coming from the cooperative edit.  The tagcoll
> utility is even able to do such merges, right here, right now.

Once we change policy to add the Tags: header, then maintainers could
just pull the tag data from the debtags db at their leisure.

> Assigning such a tag, however, would be quite subjective: I might think
> that every law-related package is "specialized", while the debian-lex
> people would rather consider "specialized" any of the packages currently
> tagged with "devel".
> This kind of tagging should not be done at the debian core level, which
> needs the maximum level of objectivity because it does not know its
> users, but rather by the various subdistros.
> In this way, debian-{jr,med,edu,lex,*}, the metadistros, the Morphix
> modules and the local-school-specific debian flavour built by the
> ministry of education of some small country, they could all define their
> own idea of what is "specialized" and what not.
> This brings me to the idea of having a custom tag vocabulary that is
> merged with the central one.  And I like it so much!  I'll implement it
> tomorrow as soon as I get up :)

Ok, i see your point of view.  An alternative is for the subprojects to
be able to have "negative" tags...so the debian-lex people would "untag"
all the law packages as specialized.  (This may already be possible, I
haven't looked).

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