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Re: Possible mass bug filing: non-doc packages recommending doc packages

On Fri, 8 May 2009 08:58:51 +0200 (CEST)
Andreas Tille <tillea@rki.de> wrote:

> On Fri, 8 May 2009, Christian Perrier wrote:
> > I bringed the discussion in out maintenance list but dropping
> > Recommends to Suggests is likely to make us provide a "broken" home page
> > for SWAT by default. We could of course patch SWAT so that the page
> > explicitely says that adding samba-doc is needed but that would be
> > glightly ugly.
> >
> > So, that could be seen as a quite calid use case, indeed..:)
> As a raw estimation about 50% of the packages I maintain / sponsor use
> the doc package not only as pure standalone doc but the doc might be
> used by the help system of the native program / web application. 

In which case, the MBF could concentrate more on libraries and other
packages that have -doc packages rather than on applications. Libraries
that Recommend: libfoo-doc (as mine did and which I'll fix in the next
upload) could conceivably be bringing in the docs not when someone is
debugging the library itself (when the docs are useful) but when
someone is debugging a reverse dependency - quite possibly for a bug
that doesn't relate to the functionality provided by the library.

It is helpful for applications to be able to load the Help file - as
long as there is a useful message to the user should the -doc package
not be installed for any reason.

> You might argue that in this case the program should be called *-data, but
> I'd call this nitpicking because the packages in itself are perfectly
> valid doc packages and make sense on their own.  So I do not think that
> this issue is really atarget for mass bug filing because chances for
> false positives are to high.  I'm fine with a lintian warning which
> can be overriden by the maintainer in case he decides recommending the
> doc package is the reight way to go.

lintian is probably the best option - a lintian check can also
probably handle the distinction between a library -dev package and an
application package and the 'Certainty' functionality can deal with


Neil Williams

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