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Re: Working on debian developer's reference and "best packaging practices"

On Sat, May 04, 2002 at 09:02:24PM -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> >>"Adam" == Adam Heath <doogie@debian.org> writes:
>  Adam> We(Wichert and I) implement features that users want, when we
>  Adam> have time.  We implement those that are interesting to us when
>  Adam> we have free time.  I don't think either one of us would feel
>  Adam> comfortable being led by another group.
> 	Strawman. The policy group shall never propose additions to
>  dpkg functionality, the way the section shalll be formulated. What
>  shall be in the section is what the maintainers _must_ have in order
>  for their packages to be built.  

That statement's a bit ambiguous.

The real question is whether maintainers are meant to build using the
features of dpkg, or the ones listed in debian-policy. The former makes
sense and works; the latter means that any new features in dpkg have to
go through the hurdle of debian-policy for no good reason.

We already expect dpkg not to break existing packages, we already are
happy to ignore features in dpkg that are useless, we've no need to
support different implementations of dpkg (anyone remember Herring?) --
and if we did, they'd have to support the undocumented-in-policy features
that some packages will be using anyway -- and we already have a few
people who need to be convinced of any major changes (apt needs to
grok Packages files as well as dpkg, apt-ftparchive needs to be able to
grok .debs and source packages), and we already have plenty of areas to
discuss any changes if discussion is needed.

> 	Having that in policy serves two purposes -- it is a quick,
>  minimal reference to the standard interface to packaging tools for
>  debian developers,

Policy is not a HOWTO, and doesn't work as a HOWTO. If you want a quick
minimal dpkg reference, use the packaging manual or the man pages,
or write a HOWTO.

>   and it shall be the common basis that any other
>  packaging tool apart from dpkg must implement in order to qualify.

Like I've already said -- standardisation for standardisation's sake.

> 	From time to time, the dpkg authors could ask for additional
>  functions to be added to the core set, at your discretion, when you
>  think it has become a part of the standard interface debian packages
>  have to the packaging system(s).

If stuff's added to policy after it's been tried in various packages,
then it doesn't document enough for reimplementations of dpkg, if it's
added before, it'll have to document things before they've been tried
and demonstrated to be useful.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

     ``BAM! Science triumphs again!'' 
                    -- http://www.angryflower.com/vegeta.gif

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