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Lintian pickiness and packaging improvements (was: RFS: ampache (updated package))

Jan Hauke Rahm <jhr@debian.org> writes:

> Hi Manoj,
> I'm not going to argue with you about this.
> On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 04:12:21AM -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> >         There is a time and a place where these lintian options are
> >  useful. They certainly have a place, and are recommended for
> >  experienced developers, and critical for helping to improve
> >  lintian. But one needs to know when to use them, and when not to
> >  bother.

I think this approach is right for Lintian's experimental checks. They
should be enabled only by those who want to improve Lintian by finding
faults in the checks.

I don't think it's right for the pedantic checks that are *not*
experimental. If those are never used except by people who want to
improve Lintian, then there seems to be little point. So applying this
attitude to the Lintian pedantic checks seems to be an argument for not
having them in Lintian at all.

> I just think that this is the wrong perspective. lintian usually has
> good explanations and I find it for novices particularly helpfull to
> read those. They rediect to Policy, DevRef etc.

Yes. Those checks (that are not experimental) that cause a tag on one's
package should cause one to seriously consider whether, and have a
convincing answer for why, this package might be an exception to the

> And the most important part is: not a single lintian complaint has to
> be fixed because lintian says so. It's just a tool.

Please join me in public embarrassment of those who write changelog
entries saying “make Lintian happy”, etc.

Lintian is not a deity to be appeased; it's a tool reporting that the
package might need fixing for explicit *reasons*, formulated by fellow
developers. The changelog entry for the fix should not even mention
Lintian and should speak only to the reason given for the check.

 \      “What we usually pray to God is not that His will be done, but |
  `\                       that He approve ours.” —Helga Bergold Gross |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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