weekly policy summary
Here's what's been happening on debian-policy this week.
Please let me know if you think any proposals have a consensus.
Note: for details of the policy process, see
http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/policy/ch3.html. Also, this summary is
available on the web at http://kitenet.net/~joey/policy-weekly.html.
Ammend contrib definition (#45318)
* Proposed by Anthony Towns; seconded by Chris Lawrence, J.H.M.
Dassen, Josip Rodin, Edward Betts, Marcus Brinkmann and Joseph
* This proposes a new definition of the contrib section. It removes
some of the things that would put a package in contrib, including
packages that are too buggy, and packages that violate policy.
Only licencing terms would determine if something goes in contrib.
Virtual package 'ispell-dictionary'
* Proposed by Santiago Vila; seconded by Julian Gilbey and Anthony
* add ispell-dictionary to the list of virtual packages for
"Anything providing a dictionary suitable for ispell".
/var/mail and /var/spool/mail (#42052)
* Proposed by Joseph Carter; seconded by Gordon Matzigkeit, Joey
Hess and Santiago Vila.
* This outlines a migration path from /var/spool/mail to /var/mail.
Old systems will have /var/spool/mail with /var/mail a symlink.
New machines will have the reverse. Packages using /var/mail
should depend on the version of base-files that implements this.
Build-time dependencies on binary packages (#41232)
* Proposed by Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho; seconded by Roman Hodek,
Santiago Vila, Stefan Gybas and Ian Jackson.
* Proposes the addition of four new fields to debian/control to
specifiy different kinds of source dependancies (and conflicts,
etc). Does't handle packages that need unpacked source of another
package to build.
( Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho posted a final version and there were no
objections to it. )
Add VISUAL when checking for user's editor (#41121)
* Proposed by Steve Greenland; seconded by David Frey, Julian Gilbey
and Chris Waters.
* Programs may check VISUAL before EDITOR when trying to figure out
what editor to use. sensible-editor already does this.
Rewrite of "Configuration files" section (#40766)
* Proposed by Steve Greenland; seconded by Joey Hess, Stefan Gybas
and Kai Henningsen.
* A replacement for section 4.7 that clarifies the different between
"configuration file" and "conffile" and uses the two consitently.
( probably a consensus )
Wording cleanup w.r.t. conffile/configuration file (#40767)
* Proposed by Steve Greenland; seconded by Joey Hess, Julian Gilbey
and Kai Henningsen.
* This cleans up references to "conffiles" and "confuguration files"
Changelog.html.gz sanitization (#40934)
* Proposed by Joey Hess; seconded by Roland Rosenfeld, Edward Betts
and Manoj Srivastava.
* A proposal to make a plain text dump of html changelogs available
so changelogs are always available at a consitent location. The
html changelog may optionally be included as changelog.html.gz
Data section (#38902)
* Proposed on 3 Jun 1999 by Darren O. Benham; seconded by Peter S
Galbraith and Peter Makholm.
* "Since there is interest in packaging census data, maps, genome
data and other huge datasets I and since most people agreed that
dropping them in main or contrib is not a great idea, I propose
the creation of a data section to reside along side of main,
contrib and non-free." Includes rules about what goes in this
Definition of extra priority (#33076)
* Proposed on 8 Feb 1999 by Santiago Vila; seconded by Peter S
Galbraith, M.C. Vernon, Jules Bean and Julian Gilbey.
* Clarification of what the "extra" priority means.
Config files must have manpages (#45406)
* Under discussion.
* Proposed by Nicolás Lichtmaier; seconded by Oliver Elphick and
* Require every config file have a man page.
Changing policy on compiling with -g .. a better way (#43787)
* Proposed by Ben Collins; seconded by Sean 'Shaleh' Perry,
Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho, Mike Goldman, Zephaniah E. Hull, Roman
Hodek, Marcus Brinkmann and Aaron Van Couwenberg.
* Instead of always requiring packages build with -g (only to strip
it later), the proposal is that they may optionally only build
with -g if the user specifies they do so (by setting
DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS=debug). This should reduce overhead in normal
FHS-compliant location of compiled examples (#42849)
* Proposed by Joey Hess; seconded by Julian Gilbey and Chris Waters.
* This is a proposal for dealing with architecture-specific example
files. The idea is to put them in /usr/lib/package/examples, with
symlink(s) as necessary to make /usr/share/doc/package/examples
point to them.
( The main objection is that there may not be any files of this
does seem to be one. )
A proposal for README.Debian (#42554)
* Proposed by Stephane Bortzmeyer; seconded by Anthony Towns and
* Policy doesn't talk about README.Debian right now. This is an
addtion to policy that says what should be in the file. It says it
should include descriptions of changes made to the upstream
source, what options were enabled in configure and make, and the
packages needed to build the package.
Correct section 3.3 to take account of file-rc (#41547)
* Proposed by Julian Gilbey; seconded by Roland Rosenfeld and
* Part of policy doesn't make sense if file-rc is being used. This
proposal is to clean it up so it does make sense, and moreover so
it emphasizes that update-rc.d is the only thing that should be
used to register init scripts.
Policy still suggests /etc/rc.boot instead of /etc/rcS.d (#32448)
* Proposed on 26 Jan 1999 by Brian Servis; seconded by Julian Gilbey
and Joey Hess.
* Change policy to refer to /etc/rcS.d instead of the old
Split /cgi-bin/ into system and local parts (#32263)
* Under discussion.
* Proposed by Brian White.
* Use /cgi-lib/ for scripts in /usr/lib/cgi-bin/, leaving /cgi-bin/
for the administrator.
Tech-ctte: /usr/share/doc (#45561)
* Under discussion.
* Proposed by Joseph Carter; seconded by Julian Gilbey.
* Proposal that we actually adopt the tech ctte's decision on
/usr/share/doc, and use the way debhelper manages the symlinks as
the reference implemntation.
Virtual package ident-server (#45307)
* Under discussion.
* Proposed by Chris Lawrence; seconded by Sean 'Shaleh' Perry.
* Proposes a "ident-daemon" virtual package.
Section 3.2 should not allow static user ids (except root=0) (#43483)
* Under discussion.
* Proposed by Andreas Jellinghaus.
* Policy currently allows for static uid' to be hardcoded into
daemons. The proposal is to change that so only dynamic uid's may
Handling missing stuff in /use/local (#44922)
* Stalled for 1 week.
* Proposed by Juergen A. Erhard.
* Modifies policy to explicitly state that programs must not rely on
anything in /usr/local
Mailbox locking (#43651)
* Stalled for 2 weeks.
* Proposed by Roland Rosenfeld; seconded by Joey Hess.
* "The Debian policy is not very clear in the definition of the way,
mailbox locking should be implemented. It only points to a
"reference implementation" (liblockfile), which is said to be
NFS-safe, but it isn't with Linux kernel 2.2.*." The proposal is
to make policy say exactly how locking should be implemented.
Directories for local initialization scripts
* Proposed by Julio.
* Add a directory /etc/init.d/local for locally installed init
scripts, which can be handled by update-rc.d like the scripts in
/etc/init.d. Also allow for ~/.rc.d directories.
( People seem puzzled about why this would be necessary at all. )
Remove the incompatibility argument from 5.1 (#43077)
* Proposed by Matthias Klose.
* The proposal is to get rid of the part of policy (5.1) that
mandates the format of architecture specification strings a
program must use.
Test suite proposal (#41902)
* Proposed by Ian Jackson.
* This proposal deals with regression tests for packages. The idea
is to make a separate package_version.tests.tar.gz file that
contains regression tests. It details what should be in this file
and how it works.
Debian-policy has an unclear statement on dependancies and priorities
* Proposed by Chris Fearnley; seconded by Joey Hess.
* A clarification to wording about package priorities. No real
meaning seems to be changed by this proposal.
Naming Conventions for modules (#41113)
* Proposed by Alexander Reelsen.
* perl modules are named libfoo-perl; python modules are named
python-foo. It's not consitent. This proposal is that we come up
with a general naming scheme for all language modules that is
consistant accross languages.
Get rid of undocumented(7) symlinks (#39830)
* Proposed on 20 Jun 1999 by Roland Rosenfeld.
* All programs are still required to provide manpages, but
undocumented.7 is done away with by this proposal.
Permit/require use of bz2 for source packages (#39299)
* Proposed on 10 Jun 1999 by Chris Lawrence; seconded by Goswin
* "I propose that we permit the use of bzip2 to compress source
package files (.orig.tar and .diff for most packages, .tar for
native packages). I further propose that the use of bzip2 be
mandatory for newly uploaded source files, and that any existing
source packages in the archive in gzip format exceeding 5 MB of
compressed space be converted upon the freeze for potato."
( The reason this was proposed is because we're almost overflowing
the second source CD already. This is a very contentious proposal.
A better way to configure debian systems (#38703)
* Proposed on 1 Jun 1999 by Goswin Brederlow; seconded by Falk
* Another configuration management proposal.
Editor and sensible-editor
* Proposed on 2 Jun 1999 by Goswin Brederlow.
* Instead of having programs use $EDITOR and fall back to editor,
just use sensible-editor.
A pre-install required space checking mechanism for Debian packages
* Proposed on 19 May 1999 by Manoj Srivastava.
* The idea is to enable tools like apt to check if a set of packages
will fit on a disk, taking various partitions into account. This
will require adding something like the output of du to the package
or to the Packages file or to a new file that can be downloaded.
The details are still being hashed out.
Last modified: Fri Sep 24 19:39:34 1999
see shy jo