Bug#46516: [PROPOSAL] MIME support sub-policy
One of the things many people like in Debian is the level of integration
in Debian systems as a whole that results from the integration between
packages through our extensions, like the menu mechanism. Another
extension is offered by the "mime-support" package. It gives maintainers
an easy way to have /etc/mailcap accurately reflect the system's MIME
capabilities. As with the menu mechanism, the success of the MIME support
mechanism depends highly on the number of packages using it. The menu
system is now used by a very large number of packages, in part because
it has been adopted into policy via a sub-policy.
Goal of this proposal
I'd like to see MIME support become as successful as menu support, and
therefore I'm proposing the addition of a MIME support sub-policy.
Policy diff & sub-policy
I'm attaching a patch for the current policy document as well as a document
explaining the sub-policy.
Ray Dassen <jdassen@wi.LeidenUniv.nl>
--- policy.sgml Sat Oct 2 17:46:32 1999
+++ policy.sgml.new Sat Oct 2 18:41:49 1999
@@ -1820,7 +1820,31 @@
about how to register your applications and web
+ <heading>Multimedia handlers</heading>
+ Packages which provide the ability to view/show/play,
+ compose, edit or print MIME types should register themselves
+ as such following the current MIME support policy as
+ defined in the file <ftpsite>ftp.debian.org</ftpsite> in
+ or your local mirror.
+ MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, RFC 1521) is
+ a mechanism for encoding files and data streams and providing
+ meta-information about them, in particular their type (e.g. audio
+ or video) and format (e.g. PNG, HTML, MP3).
+ Registration of MIME type handlers allows programs like mail
+ user agents and web browsers to to invoke these handlers to
+ view, edit or display MIME types they don't support directly.
<!doctype debiandoc system [
<!-- include version information so we don't have to hard code it
within the document -->
<!entity % versiondata SYSTEM "version.ent"> %versiondata;
Debian GNU/Linux Menu Sub-Policy Manual.
Copyright (C)1999 ;
released under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version
2 or (at your option) any later.
The debian-policy mailing list has taken responsibility for the
contents of this document, with the package maintainers responsible
for packaging adminstrivia only.
<title>The Debian MIME support sub-policy</title>
<name>J.H.M. Dassen (Ray)</name>
<name>The Debian Policy mailing List</name>
<version>version &version;, &date;</version>
This manual describes the policy requirements for the MIME support
system used in the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. This
document is part of the policy package for Debian. The policy
package itself is maintained by a group of maintainers that
have no editorial powers. At the moment, the list of
<p>Michael Alan Dorman <email>firstname.lastname@example.org</email></p>
<p>Richard Braakman <email>email@example.com</email></p>
<p>Philip Hands <email>firstname.lastname@example.org</email></p>
<p>Manoj Srivastava <email>email@example.com</email></p>
Copyright ©1999 .
This manual is free software; you may redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version
2, or (at your option) any later version.
This is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
<em>without any warranty</em>; without even the implied
warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular
purpose. See the GNU General Public License for more
A copy of the GNU General Public License is available as
<tt>/usr/doc/copyright/GPL</tt> in the Debian GNU/Linux
distribution or on the World Wide Web at
name="&urlname">. You can also obtain it by writing to the
Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330,
Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.
<heading>About this document</heading>
The latest copy of this document can be found at
<heading>MIME support mechanism</heading>
If you need assistance implementing this sub-policy, please
please ask for it on the debian-devel mailing list. If you
have proposals for changes or additions to this sub-policy,
please bring it up on debian-policy.
MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, RFC 1521) is
a mechanism for encoding files and datastreams and providing
meta-information about them, in particular their type (e.g. audio
or video) and format (e.g. PNG, HTML, MP3).
Registration of MIME type handlers allows programs like mail
user agents and web browsers to to invoke these handlers to
view, edit or display MIME types they don't support directly.
<heading>MIME support implementation</heading>
The <package>mime-support</package> package provides the
<prgn>update-mime</prgn> program which allows packages to
register programs that can show, compose, edit or print
Packages containing such programs must register them
with <prgn>update-mime</prgn> as documented in <manref
name="update-mime" section="8">. They should <em>not</em> depend
on, recommend, or suggest <prgn>mime-support</prgn>. Instead,
they should just put something like the following in the
postinst and postrm scripts.
if [ -x /usr/sbin/update-mime ]; then