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Bug#148194: debian-policy: Clarification needed regarding multi-line fields

Jeroen van Wolffelaar <jeroen@wolffelaar.nl> writes:
> On Tue, Mar 28, 2006 at 07:05:28PM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> Seconded.  From a lintian perspective, we're intentionally not checking
>> for wrapped lines in the debian/control file because all of the tools
>> cope.

>> If worried about breakage in scripts that parse the .dsc and .changes
>> files, I think the best thing to do would be to state that wrapping is
>> permitted in the debian/control file, but not permitted (except for
>> defined fields that already allow multiline values) in DEBIAN/control,
>> .changes, or .dsc files.  I believe lintian currently implements
>> exactly this check.

>> I can prepare text if there's general agreement that this is the right
>> direction to go.  I'd been meaning to propose something very much along
>> these lines myself.

> Ditto, looking forward for a patch along these lines to second :).

Here is the proposed patch.  Now looking for seconds.

--- policy.sgml.orig	2005-12-24 13:41:09.000000000 -0800
+++ policy.sgml	2006-04-06 16:34:13.000000000 -0700
@@ -2160,7 +2160,11 @@
 	  <prgn>dpkg-genchanges</prgn> to generate the
 	  <tt>.changes</tt> file to accompany the upload, and by
 	  <prgn>dpkg-source</prgn> when it creates the <file>.dsc</file>
-	  source control file as part of a source archive.
+	  source control file as part of a source archive. Many fields are
+	  permitted to span multiple lines in <file>debian/control</cite>
+	  but not in any other control file. These tools are responsible
+	  for removing the line breaks from such fields when using fields
+	  from <file>debian/control</file> to generate other control files.
@@ -2332,6 +2336,20 @@
             multiple entries should be comma separated. This is an
             optional field.
+	  <p>
+	    Any parser that interprets the Uploaders field in
+	    <file>debian/control</file> should permit it to span multiple
+	    lines<footnote>
+		In the future, the Uploaders field in
+		<file>debian/control</file> (but not other control files)
+		will be permitted to span multiple lines and interpreting
+		a multiline Uploaders field shall be mandatory.
+	    </footnote>. Line breaks in an Uploaders field that spans
+	    multiple lines are not significant and the semantic meaning of
+	    the field is the same as if the line breaks had not been
+	    present.
+	  </p>
 	<sect1 id="f-Changed-By">
@@ -3822,6 +3840,15 @@
+	  When these fields are used in the <file>debian/control</file>
+	  file, line breaks are permitted before any whitespace
+	  character. Line breaks are not permitted in these fields when
+	  used in any other control file. For consistency it is
+	  recommended that line breaks only be used before the whitespace
+	  following a comma.
+	</p>
+	<p>
 	  For example, a list of dependencies might appear as:
 	  <example compact="compact">
 Package: mutt

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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