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Re: Lintian pickiness and packaging improvements

On Thursday 22 October 2009 22:37:54 Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> 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.

That's not always true.  Better can be subjective, but it can also be 
objective.  If a style scores better on all the metrics we care about that 
another style, it is objectively better.  If a style has advantages over 
another, but the other does not have an advantage over the first, the first 
style is objectively better.

>         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.

We shouldn't warn on subjectively better style, but be should warn on 
objectively poor style.

>         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

Neither of those are a sentence.  The first lacks a verb (or verb phrase).  
The second also lacks a period and capital letter, but that actually makes it 
*easier* to use in an actual sentence, since it doesn't have to be modified to 
be used as a noun phrase.

The first is clearly grammatically incorrect -- it can't be used unchanged in 
any grammatically correct structure.  The second is not a sentence, but it is 
grammatically correct as it can be used unchanged in a grammatically correct 
structure.  (In addition, it stands on its own as a noun phrase.)
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