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Re: What is the best place for package meta-data ?

Le Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 12:37:20PM +0100, Guillem Jover a écrit :
> Given that this is supposed to be upstream-only information, are you
> aware of DOAP [0]? It seems to me it would be better to reuse already
> existing infrastructure than to create yet a new one, that only a
> subset of Debian might end up using. This could also be submitted
> upstream I think.
> It's XML though, but it could be easily transformed to any output format
> we'd want to use, say control-style for example, which most of our tools
> already handle, if need be.

Dear Guillem and Olivier,

yes, I have been pointed DOAP (and PackageMap) on the debian-qa and
debian-mentors mailing lists. I have spent a couple of hours this week reading
things about “Semantic web” and related things. My conclusion is that the
languages for linking concepts that are formalised in RDF files (XML, Notation
3, Turtle, N-triples, …), are too complex compared to simple YAML files.
However, if we consider the DOAP as a simple list of keywords on which to
standardise, then I can do my best to stick to them as far as possible.

This would allow to do the reverse of what you propose: it would ease the
translation of the metadata we collect from a simple YAML format (which is very
similar to Debian ‘paragraph’ control files) to XML, if there would be a
volunteer to do so.

Let's finish by an example: how to declare a homepage.


Homepage: http://toto.example.com


<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#";

        <homepage rdf:resource="http://toto.example.com"; />


I hope that it demonstrates the case that if we want the package maintainers
themselves to enter the information (which is what I propose), then the
complexity of RDF is a strong barrier to adoption.

In summary: I will try to use the same keywords as DOAP, in order to keep a
door open, but I think that using something as complex as RDF is prematurate.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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