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Re: allow missing description fields and empty long descriptions for Rust/etc packages?

Quoting Paul Wise (2023-09-20 04:10:58)
> I have noticed that almost all Rust packages in Debian have boilerplate
> long descriptions that aren't very useful to Debian users. The only
> useful info is the crate name, but that is also in the package name.
> As far as I know they inherit this property from the upstream Rust
> crates, which only have a synopsis or even no description at all.

Not quite true: Upstream Rust crates have no long description as part of
the crate manifest (i.e. in the Cargo.toml file), but such info is
commonly found upstream embedded in the main library file (i.e. near the
opp of src/lib.rs file) which is liftet out as part of upstream
documentation generation.

This is somewhat similar to how perl CPAN modules include POD
documentation - with the difference that upstream perl packaging tools
commonly lift out the embedded "long description" text and includes it
in an autogenerated README file (whereas upstream rust distributes that
documentation on a separate website.

> Having the Rust team and other folks add non-upstream descriptions for
> crates seems like not very useful work, since the Rust packages are
> basically only used as build-deps and therefore have no human users.
> So I would like to suggest Debian relax our requirements around binary
> package descriptions, especially for Rust binary packages.
> Does anyone object to this change?
> Are apt/dpkg or the repo creation tools likely to need fixing?
> Are there any other places that would need changes? (eg DDTP)
> Are there any other ecosystems that this could apply to?

I find it useful to be able to read changelogs for Debian packages
offline, not only for packages containing user-facing ABIs.

Similarly I find it useful to search for relevant packages e.g. with
axi-cache search or apt-cache search, again not only for packages
containing user-facing ABIs.

I would find it sad if Debian "optimized" away this ability.

Personally I have not found it a too burdening work to grab
documentation from upstream unstructured sources, and occationally
update that information if it later changes.

 - Jonas

> -- 
> bye,
> pabs
> https://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/
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