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Re: Package Versioning question

On Tue, Jan 21, 2003 at 12:02:36AM -0500, Aaron Haviland wrote:
> Kenneth Pronovici said:
> > You might want to check policy before filing a bug:
> > 
> >    http://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-versions.html
> > 
> > As I read it, the relevant section is:
> > 
> >    The upstream_version may contain only alphanumerics[13] and the
> >    characters . + - : (full stop, plus, hyphen, colon) and should start
> >    with a digit.
> > 
> > The key being, "start with a digit", which of course yours doesn't.  I
> > don't think you can expect dh_make to support version schemes that
> > violate policy.
> Well, now. It doesn't exactly violate policy, since policy says
> "should," not "must."

"Should" just means that the package won't be thrown out of the
distribution if it isn't fixed, unlike "must". It doesn't necessarily
mean that it's OK to ignore it. Certainly, I think people ought to have
a very good reason to ignore "should" directives, and that they should
expect bugs if they don't document those reasons.

Policy is basically an assemblage of all the things we've decided are
good interoperability guidelines so that everything works smoothly
together. "Must" denotes the ones that absolutely have to be there for a
stable release. The distinction acknowledges that we don't always have
the time or resources to fix everything we consider as a bug.

> Also, there exist two packages in debian already with versions beginning
> with letters without any bugs against them for this:
> cnews (cr.g7-31) and tac-plus (F4.0.4.alpha-11)

I think those are probably bugs, although it would require an epoch to
fix them. It seems like at best luck that they work with the current
packaging tools, which aren't obliged to implement anything more than
what the version number specification describes.


Colin Watson                                  [cjwatson@flatline.org.uk]

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