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Re: RFC: Better formatting for long descriptions

On Fri, 20 Mar 2009 14:45:09 +0100 (CET)
Andreas Tille <tillea@rki.de> wrote:

> I tried to find a clear advise how to reasonable format lists inside long
> descriptions of packages.  The only thing I know is that lines with two
> leading spaces is considered verbose. 

Packages.gz is already 26Mb - I'd like to find ways to shorten the
package descriptions, not lengthen it. :-(

> This leaves a lot of freedom to
> simulate for instance itemize lists.  I'd like to give some examples for
> package names starting with 'a' and stopped with the first package names
> of 'b'.  If you are bored by these examples continue reading below the
>    ------ line.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> I think we should try to implement some more strict formating rules
> to our long descriptions. 

Maybe starting with a way to provide extra long descriptions by some
means *other* than Packages.gz - which in turn means maintainers
deciding which bits of the long description *really* need to be visible
before download and which can wait until the user has decided to
download the package.

Can the long description be trimmed to only such data necessary to
identify the package compared to similar packages? We have debtags for
lots of other facets of a package description, maybe it is time that
the long description itself is trimmed so that it does not repeat any
information already encoded as debtags?

> The rationale behind this is that with some
> better standard formating some tools which display descriptions on web
> pages might be enhanced to use <li>, <ol> and <dl> tags which finally
> makes a better reading.

Oh no, please don't let Packages.gz get to 40Mb or 50Mb or more. There
has to be a limit somewhere. 

What about a way of having a really long, detailed, nicely formatted
description on packages.debian.org but a much shorter, more basic
version in the Packages.gz file?

> This suggestion is far from complete and should be enhanced. 

I think the entire suggestion should be redirected away from the
Packages.gz file.


Neil Williams

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