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Re: Bug#196367: debian-policy: clarify what to do about priority mismatches

On Fri, 2003-06-06 at 21:39, Chris Waters wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 06, 2003 at 01:52:58PM +0100, Colin Watson wrote:
> > Every so often, somebody encounters the bit of the policy manual that
> > says:
> >   Packages must not depend on packages with lower priority values
> >   (excluding build-time dependencies). In order to ensure this, the
> >   priorities of one or more packages may need to be adjusted.
> > Seeing the "must", they then go and file a bunch of serious bugs.
> > However, priorities are set by ftpmaster overrides, and, even if the
> > maintainer uploads a "fixed" version of the package, the priority will
> > still be wrong in the Packages file until an ftpmaster goes and changes
> > the override. Thus, filing bugs against individual packages for this is
> > basically a waste of time.

The priority is changed in the override file, but I suppose
it should be changed in the package source too.  If not, then
this should also be stated in policy.

> And since we do make mistakes here, and since any change can cause a
> "ripple-effect", making other packages suddenly violate this clause,
> and since violations of this are both quite harmless and hard-to-spot,
> how about we change it to not be a "must"?  Then the ftp-masters can
> still try to ensure that it holds true, but people won't freak out
> about it.

Although the ftp masters have to intervene to resolve the priority
conflict, that doesn't entail that the ftp masters are in the
best position to decide how to resolve those conflicts.  I don't
see why this kind of policy transgression should be treated
differently from any other.  If X depends on Y but has a higher
priority than Y, then someone or some check script points this
out by filing a bug against (say) X.  The maintainer of X discusses
the matter with Y and they decide together which of the two
priorities should change.  Suppose it is X.  The change is made
in X, and X's maintainer sends a message to the ftp masters
asking for this change to be reflected in the override file.
Lots of priority conflicts have been resolved this way.  Where
is the reason to "freak out"?  Freaking out is the wrong
response to a bug report.  A bug report is not an attack;
it is a message, containing useful information.

The question is, who should process this information first?
The agreed answer should indeed be written into policy.

Thomas Hood <jdthood0@yahoo.co.uk>

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