Bug#43077: marked as done ([OLD PROPOSAL]: Remove the incompatibility argument from 5.1)
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From: Matthias Klose <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Subject: [Proposal]: Remove the incompatibility argument from 5.1
X-Mailer: VM 6.43 under 20.4 "Emerald" XEmacs Lucid
> 5.1. Architecture specification strings
> If a program needs to specify an _architecture specification string_
> in some place, the following format has to be used:
> where `<arch>' is one of the following: i386, alpha, arm, m68k,
> powerpc, sparc and `<os>' is one of: linux, gnu. Use of _gnu_ in this
> string is reserved for the GNU/Hurd operating system. .
> Note, that we don't want to use `<arch>-debian-linux' to apply to the
> rule `architecture-vendor-os' since this would make our programs
> incompatible to other Linux distributions. Also note, that we don't
> use `<arch>-unknown-linux', since the `unknown' does not look very
I cannot follow the rationale for the compatibility argument. Most
Debian packages are built without an explicit architecture
string. For most of these packages this doesn't matter, because the
gnu build architecture is only used in error and help messages
(i.e. gdb). Does such a package violate policy?
Giving <arch>-<os> as the gnu build architecture makes these packages
incompatible with other distributions. I don't say, policy contradicts
itself, but this argument only makes sense, if the this architecture
string is selected for all linux distributions. Do I may miss here
some other arguments?
Other linux distributions do make use of the vendor place of their own
(redhat, suse) or use `pc' for this field. Given that the Debian way
(<arch>-<os>) already is incompatible, why not use <arch>-debian-<os>,
so you see the branding of the binaries? The counter argument for this
is the intended use of the field for the _hardware_ vendor.
Using the vendor field makes sense for identifying test results and
bug reports, where the build info is extracted and sent with the
report to an upstream source mailing list.
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Subject: Re: Bug #43077: Remove the incompatibility argument from 5.1
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 13:16:54 -0500 (CDT)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Steve Greenland)
This note is being sent as part of a project to clean out old (> 1yr)
debian-policy proposals. If you disagree with action below please
respond to email@example.com, not to me, so that the discussion may
be carried out publically in debian-policy. Feel free to re-open the
bug while it's being discussed -- I'm not trying to force any
particular disposition, just taking my best shot at resolving dead
Bug #43077: Remove the incompatibility argument from 5.1
Summary: (Note section is now 12.1) Policy requires that architecture
strings be of the form arch-os, and specifically forbids
arch-vendor-os, "since that would make our programs incompatible with
other Linux distributions". Submitter argues that this is
bogus. Single seconder of proposal contends that some programs
(e.g. Xemacs) require a three part spec string.
Discussion: I don't know enough about how these strings are used to
determine the desirability of this proposal, but figure if it was
important to those who cared, there would be some followup
effort. Re-open or resubmit if desired.