Re: Names of Fields in Control Files
On Sun, Sep 26, 2010 at 01:35:00AM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Raphael Hertzog <firstname.lastname@example.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.
Ideally, there should be a proper dpkg interface documentation, and the policy document
would only need to specify the subset that is mandated by policy.
The current situation when the policy team is in charge of maintaining the dpkg
interface documentation is awkward, especially since policy does not maintain the
Imagine a large red swirl here.