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Re: "Entry: NA" in debian/upstream/metadata



Dear Matus,

Thank you for prompt response.

On 2021-03-02 13:16, Matus Kalas wrote:
> If I understood correctly, the idea behind NA was to mark explicitly
> that the tool has been searched in those registries and not found.
> Perhaps N/A would be an even more obvious string, and definitely not
> colliding with an eventual ID.
I understand the need for two separate indications: one to mean
"unknown", and the other "known to not exist". I think the former
corresponds well to an undefined value in YAML, thus both adding 'Entry'
field with undefined value and omitting it altogether would mean the
same. The case of "known to not exist" is more interesting, but here I
would suggest using empty string instead of "NA" or "N/A". I highly
doubt that any of the registries would use empty string to identify
anything. What do you think? This would look like:

Registry:
 - Name: OMICtools
   Entry: OMICS_04455
 - Name: bio.tools
   Entry: ""

This example would indicate that the package is not registered in
bio.tools registry. I think empty string is more transparent than "NA"
and "N/A", which may actually be used by some registry to identify
something, for example, package handling "not-applicable" values [1] in
statistics.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N/A

Best,
Andrius


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