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Re: Date and Upsteam-URL fields

On Thu, Jun 08, 2006 at 04:28:36AM -0700, Chris Waters wrote:
> Date: no.  This is pointless.  The information is rarely of interest
> to anyone, and is already available to those who actually want to
> know, for whatever reason.  And in any case, it has nothing to do with
> policy.  Such a field could not be created manually.  It would have to
> be generated by dpkg-buildpackage.  Talk to the dpkg maintainers--
> they're free to implement this feature if they want.  It's not a
> matter for policy.

I agree it is not a matter for policy. However my experience with using
the changelog date is mixed: due to the way our packaging process works
it is easy to forget to update the chnagelog date before uploading the
package and sometime the the changelog date is way before the actual
upload date, which make it useless.

Part of the reason is that it is common to do dch -i, do some minor
clean up, wait a month, make a change and upload the package without
remembering to update the changelog date.

An automatically generated date could be more reliable.

> URL: this has been discussed before many times.  No reasonable
> argument for making it a special field, rather than part of the
> package description, has ever been put forth.  The homepage is a
> matter of interest to humans, not computers.  Therefore, the
> description is a perfectly lovely place to put it.  Not all packages
> have home pages, and even those that do don't necessarily have
> anything of interest to Debian users.  (Some contain little more than
> a brief description--already present in the Debian package--and a
> download link.)  It should be up to the maintainer whether including a
> home page link is worthwhile.
> I do think that people should be encouraged to include home page links
> in package descriptions, but this is a matter for the developers
> reference, not policy.  And you can always file wishlist bugs if you
> see packages that don't have a home page link when you think they
> should.

I complety agree with that, and I think following the developer
reference recommendation (DevRef 6.2.4. Upstream home page) make 
easy to parse the description for the upstream URL, so computers
can find it easily, should they need to:

     We recommend that you add the URL for the package's home page to the
     package description in `debian/control'.  This information should be
     added at the end of description, using the following format:

            Homepage: http://some-project.some-place.org/

     Please make sure that this line matches the regular
     expression `/^ Homepage: [^ ]*$/', as this allows
     `packages.debian.org' to parse it correctly.

Bill. <ballombe@debian.org>

Imagine a large red swirl here. 

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