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Source package names for R libraries (and Perl, Python, Java, …).

Le Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 04:23:40PM -0800, Don Armstrong a écrit :
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-perl/2008/08/msg00055.html
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-policy/2008/01/msg00019.html
> #505309
> among others.

For sure there are discussions, but what we need is a summarized conclusion.
(The folowing is my opinion, not an attempt to conclude).

To follow the naming scheme of the Perl team, I have renamed one of my binary
packages ‘bioperl’ to ‘libbio-perl-perl’, but I doubt it would be helpful to
have such a name as a source package.

Similarly, for R libraries, it looks simplest to keep upstream's name.  Then,
arises the problem of conflicts between source package names.  This is nothing
specific to R or Perl libraries, and restricted naming schemes will not solve
that problem entirely, although it helps to mitigate.

Then, if one choses a Debian-specific name for an upstream work, it is
advantageous to keep the same name for the source and binary package, and for R
and Perl, there are conventions in place.  But as I indicated, R's convention
is not the same as Perl's since it indicates the repository for download in the
name, which may change.  Perl packages do not have CPAN in their name.

An additional complication comes when a source package produces more than one
binary package, for instance a R and a Perl library at the same time.  The
convention on the source package name is therefore at best a “should”.

On top of this, the benefit of of having a policy on source package names will
be limited as it is unlikely to rename the existing ones.

My conclusion is that predictable binary package names are well followed and
useful (for instance to avoid conflicts with third-party repositories like
debian-cran), but I doubt about the benefits of a source package naming scheme.

This said, it is also improductive to have some source packages follow a naming
scheme, and some not.

Let's try to agree on a brief policy on naming schemes.  Perhaps Perl, Python
and Java maintainers can comment on whether it would make sense to have a
common one (drafted as a DEP ?).

PS: for the new debian-cran prepository, please consider using the magic tilde
in the version numbers.

Charles Plessy
Debian Med packaging team,
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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