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Re: problems with upstream authors and the naming of perl modules



I really think this should go to the debian-perl list so I'm sending it
there. The libc-include-perl example below is one of the best arguments
I've seen for changing the perl module naming scheme. It's a pity that
we didn't think it through more before deciding on it. IIRC we just took
the example of a few packages using that naming scheme and blessed it.

Changing the naming scheme to something saner would take at least one
release, we'd want to start near the beginning of the development cycle
to have time to change all the packages. Now is not the time to start
that process.

Of course, to make things worse, the same silly naming scheme is being
used for java, python, and ruby module packages in debian now, too. :-(


As far as some kind of quicker fix goes, I proposed some time ago that
policy be amended to let the libfoo-bar-perl just be provided by the
package, if it made better sense to use something else for the package
name. Though that proposal has been stalled for *years* (I'm offline, so
I cannot look up why, it's policy bug #114920), if I were you I'd go
ahead and do that here.

Deedra Waters wrote:
> I'm including the messages below, because I'm hoping that maybe one of
> you can help me figure out how to respond to the upstream authors on
> this Basically the problem seems to be that they are very unhappy with
> the way that debian is naming perl modules, and I'm getting to a point,
> where I am no longer sure how to respond to them on this Any advice
> would be seriously appreciated...
> 
> 
> Cris Bailiff wrote
> | Hi Guys,
> | 
> | I'm a bit slow on the uptake, as usual, but I think I can see the issues:
> | 
> | * Deedra has taken over from Domenico, and updated the release package for 
> | debian
> | 
> | * The Perl package name has changed from Curl::easy to WWW::Curl (on advice 
> | from the CPAN maintainers)
> | 
> | * Debians dh-make-perl (I don't know much about debian tools, sorry) 
> | automatically generates the debian package name based on the perl module 
> | name:
> | 
> | Foo::Bar ->  libfoo-bar-perl
> | Curl::easy -> libcurl-easy-perl
> | 
> | * Unfortunately, the auto-generated name is confusing, misleading and or ugly 
> | now that the Curl::easy module name has changed to WWW::Curl:
> | 
> | WWW::Curl -> libwww-curl-perl
> | 
> | 
> | This leads to Daniels objections:
> | 
> | On Wed, 28 May 2003, Daniel Stenberg wrote:
> | > 1 - You make the package associated to a project to which it has
> | > absolutely no attachments (libwww). Thus, some people will look in the
> | > wrong place and bother the wrong people when they search for help or just
> | > more info.
> | 
> | This is possibly the most serious - this package has nothing to do with 
> | 'libwww' - a 'competitive' package from curls' point of view.
> | 
> | > 2 - By not using the name libcurl in the name, you do not make it clear
> | >     that it is in fact a libcurl binding.
> | 
> | An unfortunate side effect of the auto-naming - but it was actually just a 
> | happy accident that the old debian naming began 'libcurl-' for the old 
> | package name. (The perl name has never clearly stated 'libcurl'.)
> | 
> | > 3 - By using the term 'curl' like this in the name, you make it sound as
> | > if this package is somehow using the command line tool curl. Which AFAIK,
> | > this doesn't do.
> | 
> | I don't see this as a major issue - as long as people can see that its curl & 
> | perl, they'll probably get what they're looking for. (No, the module doesn't 
> | use the command line tool).
> | 
> | I think it all comes down to a 'not very good' auto-naming scheme for debian 
> | perl packages, which makes them look much to much like real libraries, and 
> | was bound to cause collisions/confusion at some point - e.g. What happens to 
> | the perl module called 'C::Include'? "You mean libc-include-perl isn't a 
> | system library? WTF?"
> | 
> | On 'other distros' (RPM based, specifically), we get nicer names like 
> | 'perl-Curl-easy' and 'perl-WWW-Curl' and 'perl-C-Include', which don't have 
> | this issue.
> | 
> | 
> | > Seriously, when I read the name first I thought someone had adjusted some
> | > libwww things to use curl or possibly libcurl within it.
> | 
> | 'Me too', only I was really thinking of the *perl* standard http library 
> | "libwww-perl", and that someone had done a libcurl backend for that (long 
> | mooted!) I don't know what that will now be called :-)
> | 
> | Daniel asks, 
> | > Can you PLEASE reconsider this name?
> | 
> | and I guess I agree, if there's any scope for changing it.
> | 
> | On Thu, 29 May 2003 12:02 am, Deedra Waters wrote:
> | > Debian has rules and policies for the way that packages are done.
> | > There's the normal debian-policy, and the debian policy for perl.  This
> | > package is named according to those guidelines. I don't really have
> | > control over that.
> | 
> | I understand that you just used what the dh-make-perl tool suggested, but 
> | would you have a choice over continuing to use the 'old' debian package name 
> | or not? WWW::Curl is still 100% back-compatible with Curl::easy (it provides 
> | both namespaces), and is just a 'natural' upgrade of Curl::easy. Could you 
> | just update libcurl-easy-perl to 2.02 instead of releasing libwww-curl-perl?
> | 
> | (In any case, you should make sure libwww-curl-perl 'obsoletes' 
> | libcurl-easy-perl, as they will have file conflicts otherwise (due to the 
> | namespace compatability module)).
> | 
> | > if you want, you can send mail to debian-perl@lists.debian.org, or
> | > debian-policy@lists.debian.org and ask about it there.
> | 
> | I don't know if Daniel wants to get into driving individual distributions 
> | packaging policies (especially on my behalf!). I also don't want to become 
> | involved in a debian-policy flame fest.
> | 
> | Can we ask you, Deedra, as the maintainer, to raise the issue (if there is 
> | hope of a more 'flexible' solution) and 'report back'?
> | 
> | > If you look at the packages description, you will see thatit says "This
> | > module provides the Perl bindings to libcurl."  In the description it
> | > tells what the package is.
> | 
> | Could the description at least explicitly name the perl module 'WWW::Curl' as 
> | well as descripting what it does? I think it a bit unfortunate that the 
> | debian auto-naming looses the case and mangles the names of CPAN modules so 
> | much - it certainly takes a few moments thinking to 'map' from one to the 
> | other....
> | 
> | 
> | I guess it's up to Deedra to decide if there's anything that can be done, or 
> | take the case to the debian-policy or debian-perl lists. I don't think we'll 
> | convince them to change the auto-naming of all perl modules, but perhaps we 
> | could have some scope for improving it for this package?
> | 
> | Thanks,
> | Cris
> ---end quoted text---


-- 
see shy jo

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