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Re: Names of Fields in Control Files

Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org> writes:
> On Sat, 25 Sep 2010, Jonathan Yu wrote:

>> 22:02:40 < rra> jawnsy: I don't think we say that explicitly, but RFC
>> 5322 requires it and I can't imagine ever not enforcing that.
>> Although you should check with the dpkg maintainers to be sure.
>> Could we/should we make the Debian Policy more restrictive, and
>> specify explicitly that field names must only be ASCII-encoded?
> [...]
>> Your comments and feedback on this would be much appreciated.

> I think this discussion is theoretical and useless. I hope nobody will
> suggest a field name containing non-ascii characters...

I suspect there might be a communication problem that made this come
across harsher than it was intended.  But I'll mention that one of the
things that's sometimes frustrating about trying to nail down the
specification and standards around Debian's package format is that aspects
of standardization that would be considered completely routine in, say,
IETF work are considered theoretical and useless.

If we were standardizing things in any other context, one of the very
first things we'd do is write an ABNF grammar for Debian control fields,
which would immediately and unambiguously state the allowed characters for
each component.

> I'm certainly OK with policy requiring field names to be ASCII.

I think that's probably the right thing to do.

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

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