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Re: Comments+blank line in debian/control: Clarification in policy or MBF?

Le Mon, Oct 01, 2012 at 11:00:54PM +0200, Jakub Wilk a écrit :
> * Michael Tautschnig <mt@debian.org>, 2012-10-01, 14:25:
> >>By policy, blank lines separate paragraphs, comments are
> >>discarded, so we end up with an empty first paragraph. Policy,
> >>however, requires that the *first* paragraph contains essential
> >>package information (Policy 5.2).
> I'm not convinced by this interpretation the Policy. Common sense
> tells me that there's no such thing as "empty paragraph". So the
> question is: are empty liens allowed at the beginning of a control
> file?  I don't see an answer to that question in the Policy,
> unfortunately.

Indeed, the Policy does not consider that case.

This said, the format of the control data files is inspired from the RFC822,
which contains the following in its section 4.1:

     message     =  fields *( CRLF *text )       ; Everything after
                                                 ;  first null line
                                                 ;  is message body

Another important factor for the Policy is the "current practice".  Before
proposing that empty lines are allowed or disallowed in control data files, I
think that we would need to survey what is done in Debian.  For instnace, is
gnome-pkg-tools an outlier, are there tools tolerating initial empty lines on
purpose, what is the situation for other control data files, etc.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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