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Re: Bug#555743: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza

Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org> writes:

> On Tue, Mar 02, 2010 at 11:05:14AM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
>> > 0) (Starting intuition) most source package have a description per se,
>> >    intuitively, that is the same description you'd find on the upstream
>> >    homepage that made you download a specific software. Sure different
>> >    binary packages can have different specific purpose, but it is in
>> >    most cases possible to have a single all-encompassing description.
>> Should that description be exported in the .dsc then ?
> It is not clear to me what would be the pro/cons of having the
> description there, so I cannot tell. However, if the rationale of the
> current information in .dsc is currently "all source package information
> are there", then yes, it would make sense (even though I don't care that
> much).

I think there are 2 things here:

1) Add a description to *.dsc

This would be just for packages.d.o or apt-cache showsrc. Buildd admins
could find it also usefull so they can quickly see what a package is
about without first having to lookup what binary packages a source

2) Factoring out a common paragraph from binary descriptions

If I understood this right the source description would be put into
substvars automatically and the binary description can then reuse that

This would make many control files smaller and avoid duplication of
text.  Chaning the common text would only need a change at one place

I think both things are a good idea.

>> [ Skipping tools that would benefit from the information ]
> Fair enough. Still, for the others interesting to comment on this
> wishlist bug report, please check the original bug report to know which
> tools and infrastructure parts would benefit. It is quite a relevant set
> of tools.
>> > 2) A frequent pattern in debian/control is as follows:
> <snip>
>> If I do something like that it's rather with substvars. You could use
>> ${source:Description:body} and ${source:Description:title} in the binary
>> package description to refer to the the corresponding parts of the source
>> description.
> That it *can* be currently implemented using substvars is clear. As
> usual however, there is a trade-off between expressivity of the current
> tool set (i.e. it can be done) and convenience (i.e. how easy it is). I
> believe currently no one is doing that, but I'm also convinced that if
> supported out of the box it will become a quite handy feature to reduce
> information duplication and be kind with various parts of our toolchain.

But currently one would have to manually set the substvar and the text
it is set too would come from somewhere unintuitive. By having dpkg set
the substvar from the source description and ha ving this properly
documented it would make it obvious where the text comes from and allow
for easy translation.

Using a substvar gives the maintainer the flexibility to decide which
binary packages should have the common stanza included and which don't.
E.g. you could have 2 packages with the stanza and a third with a
completly different description.

>> I think it's ok. But some more feedback would be welcome, CCing -devel
>> for this.
> Thanks for the feedback and for the initiative.
> Cheers.


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