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Policy rewrite: chaps 11-13

Here's the last installment of my comments on the existing policy

11.2, describing .la files:
     "[they] contain a lot of useful info ... (e.g. dependency
     libraries for static linking)"
     Would "dependency information" be better?

11.2, penultimate paragraph reads:
     Packages that use libtool to create shared libraries should
     include the _.la_ files in the _-dev_ packages, with the
     exception that if the package relies on libtool's _libltdl_
     library, in which case the .la files must go in the run-time
     library package.  >>>This<<< is a good idea in general, and
     especially for static linking issues.

     What does the indicated "This" refer to -- that packages should
     include the .la files in the -dev or run-time package?

11.3 The explanation of soname is wrong; for example:

     polya:~ $ objdump -x /usr/lib/libxml.so.1.8.11 | grep SONAME
     objdump: /usr/lib/libxml.so.1.8.11: no symbols
       SONAME      libxml.so.1

     So this paragraph needs rewriting somehow.

11.7.5  What does the following mean?

     However, programs that require dotfiles in order to operate
     sensibly (dotfiles that they do not create themselves
     automatically, that is) are a bad thing, and programs should be
     configured by the Debian default installation as close to normal
     as possible.

     (It's the last part I don't understand.)

11.8 Logrotate: should it be a policy directive ("packages should
     rotate their logfiles using logrotate") and written in a more
     formal style?

11.9 There's a paragraph about changing permissions and security
     policies (beginning "You must not arrange that the system
     administrator...").  Is this any longer true now that we have

11.9 Statically allocated ids:

     If you need a statically allocated id, you must ask for a user or
     group id from the base system maintainer, and must not release
     the package until you have been allocated one.  Once you have
     been allocated one you must make the package depend on a version
     of the base system with the id present in `/etc/passwd' or
     `/etc/group', or alternatively arrange for your package to create
     the user or group itself with the correct id (using `adduser') in
     its pre- or post-installation script (the >>>latter<<< is to be
     preferred if it is possible).

     What is the "latter"?  Is it the latter alternative ("or
     alternatively ...") or the postinst instead of the preinst?  I
     would guess that it means "postinst is preferred to preinst", but
     I may be wrong here.

12.1 The list of arches is probably out of date.  Maybe policy shold
     not be so directive here, perhaps referring to the output of
     dpkg-architecture -h?

12.2 The last para reads:

     If a package wants to install an example entry into
     `/etc/inetd.conf', the entry must be preceded with exactly one
     hash character (`#').  Such lines are treated as `commented out
     by user' by the `update-inetd' script and are not changed or
     activated during a package updates.

     This isn't very meaningful as it stands.  Either the whole
     paragraph should be removed or a better explanation of what it's
     talking about should be given.

12.5 3. Web document root and web applications
     Pardon my ignorance, but what's a "web application" and what are

12.6 "Mailboxes are generally [mode] 660 user.mail unless the user has
     chosen otherwise."
     Should this be "unless the system administrator has chosen

12.6 All MTA packages must include a newaliases program, so there
     should be a para reminding that all MTAs must Provide, Conflict
     and Replace mail-transport-agent.

12.6 last para:
     check for the existance of /etc/mailname: "If it does not exist
     >>>it<<< should prompt the user ...".  What is "it"?  I think
     it's probably the pre/postinst.

12.8 There's a footnote (7) which says "Rationale: clarifies the
     language..."; surely this shouldn't be in the document!



         Julian Gilbey, Dept of Maths, Queen Mary, Univ. of London
       Debian GNU/Linux Developer,  see http://people.debian.org/~jdg
  Donate free food to the world's hungry: see http://www.thehungersite.com/

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