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Re: RFC round 5: DEP-3: Patch Tagging Guidelines

Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org> writes:

> On Wed, 26 Aug 2009, Ben Finney wrote:
> > A minor point: If we're going to refer to the standard for these
> > fields, then RFC 2822 is obsoleted by the current draft standard,
> > RFC 5322 <URL:http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5322>.
> Shall we do this even if it's “only” a draft standard?

I'm not sure. The specific maturity levels of IETF standards (detailed
in RFC 2026) give high importance to a Draft Standard, so the IETF
demonstrate high confidence that RFC 5322 will become a standard and
recommend serious production-level implementation of it. On the other
hand RFC 5322 isn't yet assigned a STD number, and STD 11 is still
associated with RFC 2822.

> > I would prefer if the ‘Origin’ field was recommended (or even
> > required?) for every patch by this specification. What would an
> > appropriate value for this field be in this example [where the patch
> > originates with the Debian package maintainer and exists only in the
> > package]?
> Well, I'm not going to make it required when previous discussions lead
> to waive this requirement in specific cases (and this sample
> demonstrates such a case).

Fair enough, I'm not about to open that up again. I see that the current
draft says “required except if Author is present”, which meets my
concerns adequately.

> Origin is best used with an URL and it's not always practical to
> provide one if you authored the patch and have not posted it anywhere.

The absence of an ‘Origin’ field simply leads the reader to too many
possible explanations, including “the writer of this patch header could
have said where this patch came from but neglected to say”.

In other words, I disagree with the current draft's assertion:

    If the Author field is present, the Origin field can be omitted and
    it’s assumed that the patch comes from its author.

I think the ‘Origin’ field is important for being explicit about the
provenance of the patch, even if its location online can't be pointed to
by URL.

> In the sample above, if I wanted to add the Origin field I would do
> something like this:
> Origin: vendor: written by maintainer, see Author

I think that either of ‘Origin: vendor’ (for a patch created by the
package maintainer) or ‘Origin: other’ would be better than omitting the
field. I'd like to see the examples recommend its use in these cases.

 \       “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a |
  `\                         thought without accepting it.” —Aristotle |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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