weekly policy summary
Here's what's been happening on debian-policy this week.
Do we have consensus on any of the listed amendments? Let me know..
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.
/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.
Data section (#38902)
* Proposed on 3 Jun 1999 by Darren O. Benham; seconded by Peter S
Galbraith, Peter Makholm and Josip Rodin.
* "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
Clarify meaning of Essential: yes (#50832)
* Under discussion.
* Proposed by Anthony Towns; seconded by Raul Miller and Joel
* Adds text to require that essential packages must function
correctly even while unconfigured.
Amend non-free definition (#46522)
* Proposed by Raul Miller; seconded by Marco d'Itri, Joseph Carter
and Joel Klecker.
* Change definition of non-free to "contains packages which are not
compliant with the DFSG". Currently, non-free includes packages
with patent problems or other legal issues.
Config files must have manpages (#45406)
* 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
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.
Get rid of undocumented(7) symlinks (#39830)
* Proposed on 20 Jun 1999 by Roland Rosenfeld; seconded by Chris
Waters, Chris Lawrence and Raul Miller.
* 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
Brederlow and Josip Rodin.
* "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.
Change package relations policy to remove references to non-free from
* Under discussion.
* Proposed by Oliver Elphick.
* Rewrite to the definition of what goes in non-free, so patents do
not keep software in non-free.
( Proposal #46522 tries to do a similar thing. )
Package may be maintained by a group (#51879)
* Under discussion.
* Proposed by Joey Hess; seconded by Raul Miller.
* Policy currently doesn't allow more than one person to maintain a
package, the proposal is to change that to be more inline with
Echo -n (#48247)
* Under discussion.
* Proposed by Raul Miller; seconded by Joseph Carter.
* Amend policy to say /bin/sh must be a POSIX shell, but with the
addition that "echo -n" must not generate a newline.
Split /cgi-bin/ into system and local parts (#32263)
* Proposed by Brian White.
* Use /cgi-lib/ for scripts in /usr/lib/cgi-bin/, leaving /cgi-bin/
for the administrator.
Section 3.2 should not allow static user ids (except root=0) (#43483)
* Proposed by Andreas Jellinghaus; seconded by Joseph Carter.
* Policy currently allows for static uid' to be hardcoded into
daemons. The proposal is to change that so only dynamic uid's may
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.
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.
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 Dec 3 19:28:51 1999
see shy jo