Bug#148194: debian-policy: Clarification needed regarding multi-line fields
Jeroen van Wolffelaar <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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
>> 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
+ Any parser that interprets the Uploaders field in
+ <file>debian/control</file> should permit it to span multiple
+ 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
@@ -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.
For example, a list of dependencies might appear as:
Russ Allbery (email@example.com) <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>