Policy incorrect use of `must', `should', etc
Manoj Srivastava writes ("Re: Bug mass filling"):
> On Tue, 24 Oct 2006 17:18:20 +0100, Ian Jackson <email@example.com> said:
> > There are two different and orthogonal properties of a policy
> > requirement:
> > 1. Is the requirement applicable in all cases, or are there
> > sometimes overriding reasons to it another way, or exceptional
> > cases where the requirement ought not to apply ?
> Nothing you have said contradicts either what I or aba have
> said; the devil lies in the details you have elided.
I see from s1.1 of the current policy manual that it describes must
and should as follows:
the words must, should and may, and the adjectives required,
recommended and optional, are used to distinguish the significance
of the various guidelines in this policy document. Packages that
do not conform to the guidelines denoted by must (or required)
will generally not be considered acceptable for the Debian
This is quite different to the usual use of these terms, which is from
1. MUST This word, or the terms "REQUIRED" or "SHALL", mean that the
definition is an absolute requirement of the specification.
3. SHOULD This word, or the adjective "RECOMMENDED", mean that there
may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to ignore a
particular item, but the full implications must be understood and
carefully weighed before choosing a different course.
Indeed, most of the policy manual was written with RFC2119 terminology
in mind. The 5th paragraph of policy should be replaced with:
In this document, the words `must', `should' and `may', and the
adjectives `required', `recommended', and `optional', are used
in accordance with BCP14 (RFC2119).