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Re: Lintian pickiness and packaging improvements

On Thu, Oct 22 2009, Raphael Geissert wrote:

> Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>>         I also think that style issues should not be a part of even
>>  Pedantic checks. If a package is using a different, and arguably
>>  better style, then lintian should keep its nose out.
> If there's a better style I guess nobody would object to consider
> recommend it or

        You are not getting it. Better is subjective.  You can have a
 dozen "better" styles, all contradictory. Are you planning on having
 checks that can never all be met simultaneously? That is what you get
 when you go for subjectively "better" styles.

> at least make sure lintian doesn't complain about it.

        Ah. I have a few of those. For example, take this warning from
 Lintian: description-synopsis-might-not-be-phrased-properly

        This is not policy, but dev-ref, and when it was proposed, it
 was argued that if we had a non clause, the front ends can make it look
 "nicer", by completing the sentence, adding the period, etc, (perhaps
 by showing "Package" is a <short description> .  That was around 6
 years or so ago.

        Here is an excerpt from aptitude (lines edited to remove size
 and version info for email):
--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
i  kernel-package    A utility for building Linux kernel related Debian packages.
i  module-assistant  tool to make module package creation easier
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

        Frankly, I like the
 Package-Name: A short sentence with a period.
  way better. The front ends have never started to display the short
  descriptions as though they were noun phrases

        And why is this a warning as opposed to an
 informational message? How is the package  impacted by having a gosh
 darned period in the short description? This is the same level of
 impairment as the other non info warnings? seriously? Thisis not a
 severity normal bug.  It is not even a severity wishlist bug. It is a
 style issue. 

        Once the front ends have been changed, then perhaps it would be a
 wishlist bug.

        Things like that are why I take every lintian warning with a
 huge grain of salt.

        Ideally, Errors should correlate to important+ bugs, and must
 violations, I think, warnings are bugs (minor and normal) and should
 violations, and everything wishlist ought to be a informational
 message. Style things belong in experimental. And, to give credit where
 it is due, the majority of the tags are listed at their proper
 severity. But by no means all of them are.

        Lintian is a great tool. But it has long standing flaws, and
 previous maintainers of lintian have been resistant to changing that.

His life was formal; his actions seemed ruled with a ruler.
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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