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Bug#114920: [PROPOSAL] remove foolish consistency in perl module names

Package: debian-policy


Perl policy currently dictates that a perl module package have a name of
the form lib-foo-bar-perl, where "foo-bar" maps to Foo:Bar in the perl
module name. This is resulting in a lot of very large and awkward
package names -- the worst ofender so far is the longest named package
in the entire distribution: libbusiness-onlinepayment-bankofamerica-perl

There are a lot of other very long package names that result from this
foolish consistency, and indeed perl module packages make up 1/5th of
all the packages with names in excess of 25 characters. Reducing the
size of these packages names will thus have a large impact on the length
of Debian's package names in general; this in turn has many ramificatons
large and small everywhere users deal with or are exposed to package
names. (Typing in "libbusiness-onlinepayment-bankofamerica-perl" is not
fun. Neither is seeing it truncated to 20 characters in dpkg -l.)

At the same time, this consistency of package names can indeed be very
useful, when things are being automated, and we shouldn't lose that
benefit with foolish inconsistency.


Replace section 3.2 of the perl sub-policy included with Debian policy
with the following text:

    Packages which contain perl modules should provide virtual packages
    that correspond to the primary module or modules in the package. The
    naming convention is that for module 'Foo::Bar', the package should
    provide 'libfoo-bar-perl'. This may be used as the package's name if
    the result is not too long and cumbersome. Or the package's name may
    be an abbreviated version, and the longer name put in the Provides

Also, although they are not currently part of the formal policy, there
are conventions to use similar naming for java (and maybe python) module
packages, and if this proposal is passed, those informal policies should
be updated to work the same way.


There is no need for a transition plan for this proposal. It allows
existing packages to remain unchanged, while new packages use shorter
names as desired. Existing packages can be renamed to shorter names at
their maintainers' discretion, though if they do, they'll have to watch
out for versioned dependancies (rare; very little depends on perl module
packages at all).


I am looking for seconds for this proposal.

      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
                      -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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