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

On Wed, 15 Feb 2012, Charles Plessy wrote:
> 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.

Perl common practice is to use the same source and binary package
names. The only exceptions I'm aware of are for perl modules bundled
with upstream distributions or things which were packaged in the mists
of time.

> 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.

Right; the primary reason why that is done is because CPAN is the only
perl repository, whereas R has multiple separate repositories, so
namespace conflicts are not enforced like they are in the CPAN world.
[This balkanization is kind of silly, but that's not really something
we can solve in Debian.]
> 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”.

The exceptions can be specifically delineated, as they are cases where
you 1) ship multiple binaries 2) ship binaries which encode a version
number. [This basically means that if you're not creating a shared
library, at least one of the packages you distribute should have the
same name as the source package.]

> 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.

The main benefit is avoiding unnecessary utilization of the source
package namespace, the secondary benefit is eliminating the current
problem of users misreporting bugs against the wrong package due to
confusing the source↔binary naming. [It is this second problem that I
continually have to deal with, and why I'm particularly aware of it.]
> 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 ?).

A DEP or just a policy amendment specifying the general naming
requirements with pointers to language specific naming policy would
> PS: for the new debian-cran prepository, please consider using the
> magic tilde in the version numbers.

Yes, that's the plan.

Don Armstrong

There are two types of people in this world, good and bad. The good
sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more.  
 -- Woody Allen

http://www.donarmstrong.com              http://rzlab.ucr.edu

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