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Re: Must and should: new proposal (was: Re: Must and should again)

On Tue, Apr 17, 2001 at 12:34:49PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> It's only people on -policy that have to realise that MUSTs and SHOULDs
> don't have the rfc meaning, though, afaics. Violating a MUST in an RFC

No, it's the readers/users of Policy.  And they are the ones who have
been getting confused and complaining.  That's why I brought this
issue up in the first place.

> > If we can simultaneously (a) get the same meanings as the IETF and (b)
> > make clear the distinctions between RC and our desires of how packages
> > should act by adding a simple asterisk, I am honestly surprised you
> > aren't so keen on it, aj. :) I figured you would be the *first* person
> > to support Julian's suggestion; you wouldn't have to object every time
> > someone introduced MUST to a proposal. :)
> No, I'd have to object every tie someone added an * to a word, instead.
> It'd probably be fine for a month or two, but so was MUST/SHOULD...

But then maybe we need a process which says that "A requirement may
not be made RC without the consent of the Release Manager."  So you
object reasonably and it doesn't become RC.  The policy can make sense
to more people, your job is easier, and no-one will make a bug RC
under your nose.

> But, aside from making the world seem to make sense to people again,

I think that's a pretty good reason.

> As an argument against, consider "If people see one set of requirements as
> `musts', and another as `shoulds', they might be tempted to just ignore
> all the `shoulds' even if there's no good reason to do so. This already
> seems to happen to some extent with the RC v non-RC issues."

So nothing will change.  And I don't think people generally regard RFC
SHOULDs as optional: there's got to be a really good reason not to
follow an RFC SHOULD.

> I also don't think adding a "*" is a particularly great notation.

The notation was just a suggestion.  I'm happy for better ones.

When implementing this, I'm planning to use entities for the various
ideas: &must; &mustrc; etc.  In that way, we can play with possible
notations and people can search for all &mustrc;s.  Another possible
notation is MUST (RC) versus MUST.



         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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