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Re: Bug#671503: general: APT repository format is not documented

David Kalnischkies <kalnischkies@gmail.com> writes:

> Completely ignoring the mail itself and just referring to the title
> (beside ignoring even the first word in that):  "repository format is
> not documented" is a valid bug - and it should be documented for the
> benefit of people who write the various tools used to generate
> repository data.

> The added benefit would be that we would have a central point where
> changes/additions can be discussed to avoid problems like we had with
> the introduction of InRelease or Translation-en which either aren't
> supported or implemented differently in different tools because nobody
> knows who the authority is.

> Currently many (not all) of the discussions with this topic end up on
> various mailinglists/bugtrackers associated to APT as the lowest common
> denominator, but this usually means that a lot of people who should be
> aren't in the loop ending in the previous mentioned problems.

> I would personal tend toward ftp-master to be the authority with
> reference implementation being dak, but they have no public mailinglist
> and dak isn't used by all derivatives…

I think debian-policy is the right repository for this.  I think it would
make the most sense to maintain this via a looser update method than the
normal Policy process and to instead just apply any update that ftp-master
says is in place, since the decision-making is already handled through
ftp-master and other discussions and there's not much to be gained by an
additional decision process.

I would be happy to maintain this as a sub-Policy as part of the
debian-policy package and (subject to my always insufficient time
available) be happy to handle the mechanics of formatting and wordsmithing
updates, but don't personally have time to write the original text or to
investigate and document changes.

A prerequisite for this working properly would be for ftp-master to feel
like they could send updates to somewhere and have them be absorbed and
handled by someone.  I don't think it's going to be viable to add having
to write the documentation as yet another ftp-master task, nor do I think
it would be viable to expect someone outside the group making changes to
reverse-engineer and guess at the changes.  It would need to be a
cooperation between notification of changes from the folks working on them
and someone doing the wordsmithing and turning that into a document.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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