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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

If there is consent that we stay close to RFC822, then I read this as "there
must not be a blank line (CRLF) before the essential package information.

> 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.

I do not yet have data covering the entire archive, only arch:any packages for
letters a-p have been rebuilt so far. For that fraction (12915 out of 17369
packages), we have 184 packages broken by gnome-pkg-tools (including
gnome-pkg-tools itself) and only 3 other packages that have comments and a blank
line in there.

But then either all build infrastructure (and also lintian) don't use
debian/control, or all these tools tolerate that blank line (with the exception
of pbuilder).


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