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Re: Consistent handling of the DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS

On Tue, 6 Nov 2007 14:15:03 -0500
Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org> wrote:

> Neil Williams wrote:
> > In this context, I believe "package documentation" should mean:
> > "All files in the package that are installed beneath /usr/share/doc
> > which are not mandated by Policy."
> > 
> > Therefore, copyright and changelogs are excluded as are manpage and
> > info pages but README, TODO, AUTHORS and all HTML/SGML/XML files
> > whether explicitly loaded via scrollkeeper/yelp etc or not are included.
> > 
> > A separate method will be developed later to deal with removing
> > manpages, infopages, lintian and linda files and other miscellaneous
> > files only from Emdebian packages so that the Debian package still
> > complies with Policy and lintian etc.
> I don't understand this reasoning. We have other DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS that
> can be used to generate packages that don't follow policy (nostrip, for
> example). This is fine, because they're not used by default. So why
> does it matter if some documentation is required by policy and other
> documentation not?

OK - as long as the one option always has the same meaning. A package
that builds libfoo-doc needs to drop the -doc content AND the
manpages, changelog, README, AUTHORS etc., from all packages and not
just the "docs". I realise that this may mean that the -doc or -data,
-common package becomes all but empty. That is what we need for
Emdebian - packages that contain the essential binary and virtually
nothing else.

A subsequent round of changes may be able to support dropping
dependencies on -data or -common packages when the package is all but
meaningless with such a meaning for -nodocs.

I'm happy with either meaning of -nodocs as long as *all* packages
implement -nodocs support in precisely the same manner. A mixture is
the worst possible result for Emdebian. I'd rather drop -nodocs
completely than have an incomplete implementation that fails to deliver

If -nodocs is to mean all docs (except copyright), including manpages
and ChangeLog etc., it is a much wider change than just relating to
documentation not specifically mentioned in Policy. As such, it is
arguably better to implement that in debhelper with some stipulation
that packages must obey -nodocs if using manual dpkg or install
commands to install things that such a debhelper setup would omit under

More important than the precise meaning (to me) is that *all* packages
must apply -nodocs consistently.

> (The copyright file is a bit of a special case, since there are few
> cases were you'd legally be able to leave it out when building a
> package.)

Yes, I have a wishlist bug against debhelper for copyright issues in
Emdebian, as I'm sure you are aware.


Neil Williams

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