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Re: DEP5: CANDIDATE and ready for use in squeeze+1

On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 10:56:31AM +0100, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 01:03:21AM -0600, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > Pointing to particular revisions is ugly, but is less ugly IMHO than
> > introducing (again) the possibility of multiple incompatible specs
> > (subtly or otherwise) all referred to with the same "Format"
> > declaration.

> That is correct and this thought has bothered me as well. However, how
> is it any different than, say, the format of debian/changelog? Unlike
> the format of debian/control, not even a Standards-Version field is
> associated to it. There is just software that deal with it that will
> fail upon some (incompatible) format change.

The Standards-Version field is associated with the package as a whole, not
with debian/control alone.  So yes, Standards-Version is a perfectly
adequate declaration of the relevant policy for handling debian/changelog. 
Furthermore, the debian changelog format is quite stable (no
backwards-incompatible changes in well over a decade, notwithstanding the
deprecation of the never-used alternative changelog format support), and
dpkg-parsechangelog is the authoritative implementation of a parser for
debian/changelog.  None of these considerations apply to DEP5 parsing today.

> Arguably, once DEP5 will be integrated into debian-policy, one might
> consider the format of debian/copyright to be subject of
> Standards-Version (if and only if the maintainer will have chosen to go
> the readable debian/copyright way).

There has been no plan to subsume DEP5 into Debian Policy.  The only plan
I've seen is to turn *maintenance* of the machine-readable copyright format
over to the Debian Policy process and to *ship* a copy of the spec in the
debian-policy package; we will still need a way to point to unique URLs in
the Format: field to distinguish between incompatible revisions, unless and
until DEP5 is incorporated into Debian Policy itself at a later date.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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