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Re: [Pkg-javascript-devel] Node.js and it's future in debian

Thibaut Paumard <paumard@users.sourceforge.net> writes:

> As I understand it, Policy is broken here: if the two binaries where
> installed in /usr/bin, it would be fine (Policy-wise) to Conflict.

Our current Policy specifically prohibits that.  See Policy 10.1:

    Two different packages must not install programs with different
    functionality but with the same filenames. (The case of two programs
    having the same functionality but different implementations is handled
    via "alternatives" or the "Conflicts" mechanism. See Maintainer
    Scripts, Section 3.9 and Conflicting binary packages - Conflicts,
    Section 7.4 respectively.) If this case happens, one of the programs
    must be renamed. The maintainers should report this to the
    debian-devel mailing list and try to find a consensus about which
    program will have to be renamed. If a consensus cannot be reached,
    both programs must be renamed.

If there's a gap in Policy, it's actually around the current situation
where the two binaries don't have the same paths, since it's not clear
what Policy means by "filename".  But it's pretty obvious that the intent
of Policy is also to prohibit binaries with different functionality in
sbin and bin, given how unstable of a situation that creates with varying

Now, that certainly doesn't rule out the sorts of solutions we're talking
about.  As I mentioned elsewhere, the point of Policy is to make the
system usable, not to have packages follow Policy just for their own sake.
If we come up with a better way of solving this situation that requires an
exception to Policy for transitional or compatibility packages, I think
that's fine.

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

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