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Re: Symlinking /usr/share/doc/<package> is not allowed

* Adrian Bunk (bunk@fs.tum.de) [030520 19:20]:
> Several packages in Debian depend on another package and symlink their 
> /usr/share/doc/<package> to the directory of this other package.
> Section 13.5. of your policy says:
> <--  snip  -->
> 13.5. Copyright information
> ---------------------------
>      Every package must be accompanied by a verbatim copy of its copyright
>      and distribution license in the file
>      `/usr/share/doc/<package>/copyright'.  This file must neither be
>      compressed nor be a symbolic link.
> ...
> <--  snip  -->
> This seems to imply that making /usr/share/doc/<package> a symlink is 
> wrong, too.

I don't see any objection to symlinking if both packages are created
of the same sourcepackage, the second one depends on
=first-package-version and (naturally) have the same copyright. The
typical case is a base package and a -doc package (or -suid, or -dev).
If policy is enforcing to duplicate the files that would really be
just a waste of disk space with no gain at all.

The policy vetoe to symlinking intends (in my interpretation) two
goals. One is to ensure that the licences don't "change" unintendidly.
This could e.g. happen if there is a global file called GPL, the
packages link there copyright statement to it, and the GPL-file is
incremented from GPL version 2 and later to GPL version 3 by just one
misbehaving program. The other is to make sure the copyright file is
always available. Both traps are avoided in the case where the
documentation directory is symlinked to the base packages directory.

> Unless someone can convince me that my interpretation of your policy is 
> wrong I'll start filing bugs against packages that symlink 
> /usr/share/doc/<package> to the directory of another package.

Of course I can't veto you of mass-filling bugs. But you really should
get a consensus before mass-filling.

   PGP 1024/89FB5CE5  DC F1 85 6D A6 45 9C 0F  3B BE F1 D0 C5 D1 D9 0C

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