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Re: /usr/local policy

Seth R Arnold <sarnold@willamette.edu> writes:

> If we wish Debian to be compliant with the FSB (is that right? The
> "lowest common denominator linux that companies can write software for")
> don't we need to follow the FHS pretty closely? Perhaps extra
> directories in /usr/local are no big deal.

There's a difference between compliance and compatibility.  At the
moment, we are striving for compatibility.  Compliance will be a later

>From /usr/share/doc/debian-policy/fhs/fhs.txt.gz:

  "An implementation is fully compliant with this standard if every
  requirement in this standard is met.
  "An implementation is fully compatible with this standard if every
  file or directory which it contains can be found by looking in the
  location specified here and will be found with the contents as
  specified here, even if that is not the primary or physical location
  of the file or directory in question."

For example, we moved the documentation to /usr/share/doc in order to
be FHS-compatible, but we kept symlinks in /usr/doc, even though that
is not FHS-compliant.

I agree with Seth and Steve that the present wording in policy is
ambiguous, and seems to directly contradict other sections of policy
(like the section that requires symlinks in /usr/doc).

> Keep in mind though, Steve posted this not out of some higher moral
> purpose, but because some poor user's /usr/local was deleted by a script
> somewhere. Maybe that script is non-compliant with Debian policy, but
> then maybe it is compliant.

Sounds like the script may have been assuming a fully compliant
system, rather than a compatible one (at least with respect to
/usr/local).  Such assumptions are probably optimistic at present;
FHS-compatible systems are likely to be far more common than
FHS-compliant systems for the near future.  Debian is far from unique
in choosing mere compatibility at this stage.  I don't know of any
distributions that claim full compliance today.
Chris Waters   xtifr@dsp.net | I have a truly elegant proof of the
      or    xtifr@debian.org | above, but it is too long to fit into
http://www.dsp.net/xtifr     | this .signature file.

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