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On Policy Compliance (was Re: static user IDs)

On Sep 18, Joseph Carter wrote:
> It's a problem if there's no transition to speak of.  We apparently have
> decided not to make policy that makes a bunch of packages instantly non-
> compliant without a reasonable transition.

I think we're starting to bastardize the concept of "policy
compliance" here.  All packages are compliant with policy if they meet
the requirements in the version of policy their Standards-Version
indicates.  A package that uses /usr/doc only does not comply with
*current* policy, but it does comply with a policy that is still
valid.  So, unless paired with a declaration of a "minimum policy"
that is acceptable (see your favorite Release Manager for this), no
change in policy can make a package non-compliant with policy.
Outdated perhaps, but not non-compliant.  AFAIK policies >= 2.4.0
(maybe even earlier) remain valid (lintian claims 2.5.0, but I believe
there was an Official Decision [tm] made for slink that has not been
revised and ergo remains in force).

Now, if the Release Manager were to say "No package using
/var/spool/mail directly will be in potato," then we could set a
minimum acceptable policy (at least for things that do stuff with
email) based on that comment, and then we would need a transition

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