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Re: debtags facet for sections (Re: Sections - especially section:kde and section:gnome)

Clint Adams <schizo@debian.org> writes:

> That's not really a fair comparison; libdevel, perl, and python, are
> relatively new sections that the ftpmasters added unilaterally, and doc
> has been used inconsistently by the ftpteam in the past.  There is also
> minimal motivation (at least for me) to update the section in response
> to a package move when it doesn't make a lick of difference other than
> an email and a warning that can easily be ignored.

True.  As long as ftpmaster is overriding the section anyway, it doesn't
really matter what the maintainers do.  But I don't think most of those
maintainers are as familiar with the whole situation as you are, and
updating the section is a pretty trivial change.

One problem with any sort of classification system is that unless it's
applied consistently, it's not particularly useful.  Consistency is
considerably more important to the usefulness than picking just the right
classification system, and consistency is often most easily maintained by
making a small set of people responsible for making final decisions about
where stuff goes.

This is one of the reasons why I find working on debtags for my packages
rather unrewarding.  I have no real indication that the decisions I'm
making about what tags make sense have much in common with the decisions
everyone else makes and that therefore the resulting classification will
be consistent.  There are some that are obvious and some that the debtags
system provides assistance for, but there are a lot of borderline cases
where I question the usefulness compared to a centrally-administered
system with some set of people who imposes consistency.

For the most part, since debtags are hints, it doesn't matter as much, but
there are a lot of very useful actions that can be taken on sections right
now and I don't want to lose that.  (Marking all packages in libs as
auto-installed, for instance.)

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

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