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Re: What’s the use for Standards-Version?

On Wed, Aug 12 2009, Neil Williams wrote:

> On Wed, 12 Aug 2009 11:59:09 +0200
> Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org> wrote:
>> However I think this approach doesn’t fit the current way we deal with
>> policy changes. The de facto way of dealing with policy breakages
>> currently is to directly report serious bugs against packages not
>> conforming, regardless of the Standards-Version they declare. We will
>> even often NMU them without changing the Standards-Version, while having
>> actually fixed them to conform to newer versions.
> In many cases, wouldn't such a relationship be better expressed by a
> dependency on a package that implemented the new behaviour? Often it's
> dpkg and many of those situations are already handled via just such a
> dependency. So why have the extra field?

        Because not all new policy changes are reflected by a new
 version of some package? And for  Developer picking up a package and
 wanting to know what needs to be looked at in order to achieve policy
 compliance, a mess of possible dependency relationships is a lot harder
 to base that decision on than a simple standards version.

> Also, for Standards-Version: to be useful again, wouldn't it be
> appropriate for lintian to have support for testing the package against
> the *declared* standards version? I doubt that this would be
> particularly welcome or easy to implement, hence I agree that the field
> itself is becoming irrelevant. Yes, we can test with the version of

        That would be wrong. A Standards version has nothing to do with
 deciding whether or not a package is buggy WRT policy.  If it does not
 match current policy, the package is buggy, period.  Even if the
 mainteiner has cleverly set the standards version to 0.0.0.

        The standards version is not a means of getting out of meeting

        From a Project point of view, it is useful to see if a package
 in the archive meets current policy, not whether it met policy when the
 standards version was last touched (and encourage people to not change
 the standards version or follow policy). So assuming there is a
 relation between bugginess and standards version is wrong; the latter
 is only useful for people trying to update the package, so that they
 know what to look for.

Some of my readers ask me what a "Serial Port" is.  The answer is: I
don't know.Is it some kind of wine you have with breakfast?
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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