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Current Policy change proposals

[ This mail is an experiment with regular reports on the status of open
  Policy change proposals, both as a status report to the project on
  Policy changes and as a request for input and review of proposals by
  interested parties.  If this experiment is successful, both in terms of
  interest and my ability to sustain it, I will start sending this message
  to debian-devel-announce on a regular basis, probably every two weeks. ]

Please direct replies to debian-policy@lists.debian.org.

What follows is a list of the normative Policy bugs that are under
discussion or otherwise being tracked by the Policy maintainers.
Currently, I maintain this list manually.  Please contact
debian-policy@lists.debian.org if you see any errors or have any

I am currently roughly following the new proposed Policy procedure put
forward recently by Manoj, which means that wording proposals aren't
accepted until they've been reviewed and seconded by at least three people
even if completely uncontroversial.  (I'm counting the person proposing
the change as one of those people for right now.)  Proposals needing
additional review and seconds are noted below.

An experimental view of open Policy bugs divided into type of bug and
discussion stage is available at:


This may become the default view after further refinement.  Note that far
from all of the bugs currently open are listed below; below are only those
that I'm actively tracking.  If other Policy delegates are actively
tracking issues and will see them through to a resolution, please tell me
which ones and I'll add them to this list.

Blockers for Next Policy Release

402975: require internationalization of debconf templates

    Since this is now a release goal, Policy should reflect it.  Given
    that it's a release goal, must may be more appropriate than should
    again.  Need to decide must vs. should and then get review and

420701: GFDL is now in common-licenses

    Wording proposed but needs additional work to clean up the language.
    Then needs further review and seconds before it can be marked

431109: Disambiguate of Section 12.5, Deprecate GPL/LGPL symlinks

    Required change due to the GPLv3 release, since Policy currently
    requires GPLv3 packages to point to a version in common-licenses but
    base-files doesn't include the GPLv3.  There is some disagreement over
    whether the generic GPL, LGPL, and GFDL symlinks should be deprecated
    entirely or still used for packages that give the licensee a choice of
    license versions.  A specific wording proposal should probably be
    developed in conjunction with or after the resolution of 420701.
    There have been several wording proposals, none of which have reached

Major Issues

206684: require debconf for all prompting

    There seems to be a general consensus that this is a good idea, with a
    fallback clause for essential packages and their pre-dependencies, but
    not many people have weighed in on the discussion.  Needs a specific
    wording proposal, review, and seconds.

209008: common interface for parallel building in DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS

    General consensus on Policy wording and a partial wording proposal
    (which needs to note that in the absence of this option, packages
    should not be built in parallel).  A complete wording proposal is
    difficult until 430649 is resolved.

430649: please clarify splitting/syntax of DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS

    Blocks 209008.  Policy is currently silent on the question of
    delimiters for keywords in DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS and the parsing method
    suggested in Policy some find counterintuitive.  It also doesn't deal
    well with the proposed parallel=n syntax.  Discussion seems to be
    converging on requiring space as a delimiter even though it makes
    setting the variable from the command line slightly more annoying,
    since make is very good at parsing space-delimited strings.  No
    specific wording proposal yet.

Minor Issues

412634: 5.6.17 (Urgency) should list emergency, maybe a normative list?

    Wording proposed that adds a normative list of urgency values to
    Policy and reconciles the two lists currently present.  No discussion
    to date.  Needs review and seconds to be accepted.

431813: support for wrapped Uploaders should now be mandatory

    Wording proposed, needs review and seconds to be accepted.  No
    discussion to date.

431814: source field of .changes files may contain a version number

    Change brings Policy in line with dpkg and dak.  Wording proposed,
    needs review and seconds to be accepted.  No discussion after the
    wording proposal.

434651: new virtual package wims-extra

    Question raised about the expected use of the virtual package, and
    about whether it falls into the cooperating package exception.
    Waiting on additional information from the bug reporter.

Accepted Changes

294962: add local and test -a/-o to expected /bin/sh features
361418: new Debian menu structure
382612: document ~ behavior in version numbers
413575: new virtual package dictd-dictionary

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

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