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Re: Punctuation characters in Debian packaging

On 11/04/2014 at 09:26 AM, Ian Jackson wrote:

> Joachim Breitner writes ("Re: Punctuation characters in Debian
> packaging"):
>> Am Montag, den 03.11.2014, 15:40 +0000 schrieb Ian Jackson:
>>> There are probably a lot of things missing.  If you know about
>>> some corner of Debian tooling which has exciting syntax, please
>>> add the information you have.
>> apt-get supports appending - to a package name in its argument to
>> install to remove it; should such uses be listed on 
>> https://wiki.debian.org/Punctuation?
> Um, please do list it but as `disputed' or `conflicting', because...
>> Also, is a package name ending in a - legal?.. Looks like they
>> are, according to the policy. I guess I can upload p-.-+-.- then
>> soon :-)
> ... yes, trailing `-' is permitted in a package name.
> Could apt use ! or ~ or something for this purpose ?

The 'packagename-' syntax for 'apt-get install' and similar, and the
'packagename+' syntax for 'apt-get remove' and similar, are so well and
so long established that I would argue against changing them at this

As far as I can see, the only way those syntaxes have the potential to
cause problems is if we ever have one (binary) package named
'packagename' and another named either 'packagename+' or 'packagename-'.
In any other scenario, the current tools seem entirely capable of
figuring out the correct thing to do without issues. As far as I am
aware, there is not currently any such pair of packages.

Would it be reasonable to write a requirement into some appropriate
document (possibly Policy) forbidding such near-overlap package names,
on account of this syntax?

   The Wanderer

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man.         -- George Bernard Shaw

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