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Possibly excessive lintian warnings (was: NEW processing)

Sune Vuorela <nospam@vuorela.dk> writes:

> Latest, the warning about quilt patches without any description. Sure it
> is nice to have a description, but I don't need lintian to tell it.

This is severity: minor, certainty: certain, which currently *barely*
makes the W threshold.  I think a very good argument could be made that
this is actually severity: wishlist, which would downgrade it to an I.
I'm copying debian-lint-maint to see what the other Lintian maintainers

I do think the warning is correct for a lint program, and it sounds like
you do agree that this is something that should be improved about the
package.  The prioritization just may be off.

> and in other words, the latest package I uploaded:
> $ lintian kdebase_3.5.9.dfsg.1-6_i386.changes  | wc --lines && lintian
> kdebase_3.5.9.dfsg.1-6_i386.changes | tail -1
> 142
> N: 58 tags overridden (32 errors, 26 warnings)


Much of this is just more of the desktop file fiasco, since KDE doesn't
follow what's supposedly a shared standard.  I've complained about that at
some length before and don't know what people are supposed to do with
desktop files.  If anyone from the KDE team is willing to propose patches
or even concrete actionable changes to how Lintian checks desktop files so
that KDE's desktop files don't produce tons of noise, I'd love to hear

You don't have man pages for many of your programs, as you've noted, which
is pile of warnings.

You install libraries into /usr/lib in a bunch of packages without shlibs
entries and don't call ldconfig in postinst.  Hm, and you override that in
a few places.  In general, just looking at the Lintian report, I don't
understand what you're doing with shared libraries and why it's correct.
Lintian thinks it's wrong, and I understand why Lintian thinks it's wrong,
but I must be missing something (which Lintian is also missing).

You're apparently not using detached symbols for your debugging libraries,
which is another small pile of warnings.

By and large, apart from the desktop mess and whatever is going on with
shared libraries that I don't understand, the Lintian report looks like a
lot of work that should ideally be done on the packages.  I'm not really
seeing stuff that's obviously wrong, although I only looked at it

> You are most welcome to join in and help fixing issues and especially
> writing manpages.  and then, there is the ~1500 open bug reports.

You have a huge and difficult-to-package piece of software and inadequate
resources to do all the work on it that should ideally be done.  I get
that, and I'm not criticizing what you're doing.  But I don't think that
Lintian should stay silent about issues just because there isn't enough
time to correct them.  It shouldn't complain about things that aren't
actually issues, but it should complain about the things that need to be
fixed, even if they can't be fixed right away.  That's what it's for.

Not having a man page for a binary is a Policy violation.  If Lintian
doesn't complain about Policy violations, it's hard to understand what the
point of it would be.  There's a reason why that's a warning and not an
error, though.  :)

> Please stop making the lives for the developers harder. Especially the
> idea about automatically rejecting based on lintian.

The only thing that's been seriously discussed with an eye to
implementation, so far as I know, is to automatically reject on the basis
of a hand-selected and very limited subset of Lintian tags, which would
probably not affect anything that you're doing and which would certainly
not automatically block packages with proper overrides.  I don't think
this is going to hurt you as much as you think it would.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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