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Bug#114920: [PROPOSAL] remove foolish consistency in perl module names

This is a Policy proposal that's sat in the Policy bug queue with wording
and seconds for quite some time.  I'd like to resurrect it and resolve it
one way or the other.

Since this is a change to the Perl packaging policy, specifically for Perl
modules, I'm cc'ing the debian-perl list, as the most likely available set
of experts in this area.

I'm quoting the full original proposal to keep people from having to go to
bugs.debian.org for it.

My reading of the bug log was that this proposal previously reached
consensus, but applying six-year-old changes based on a previous consensus
is usually a bad idea.  I'm personally indifferent.  (In many cases, I'm
not sure what the useful abbreviation for the package name would be, but
that would be up to the maintainer.)

Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org> writes:

> Rationalle:
> Perl policy currently dictates that a perl module package have a name of
> the form lib-foo-bar-perl, where "foo-bar" maps to Foo:Bar in the perl
> module name. This is resulting in a lot of very large and awkward
> package names -- the worst ofender so far is the longest named package
> in the entire distribution: libbusiness-onlinepayment-bankofamerica-perl
> There are a lot of other very long package names that result from this
> foolish consistency, and indeed perl module packages make up 1/5th of
> all the packages with names in excess of 25 characters. Reducing the
> size of these packages names will thus have a large impact on the length
> of Debian's package names in general; this in turn has many ramificatons
> large and small everywhere users deal with or are exposed to package
> names. (Typing in "libbusiness-onlinepayment-bankofamerica-perl" is not
> fun. Neither is seeing it truncated to 20 characters in dpkg -l.)
> At the same time, this consistency of package names can indeed be very
> useful, when things are being automated, and we shouldn't lose that
> benefit with foolish inconsistency.
> Proposal:
> Replace section 3.2 of the perl sub-policy included with Debian policy
> with the following text:
>     Packages which contain perl modules should provide virtual packages
>     that correspond to the primary module or modules in the package. The
>     naming convention is that for module 'Foo::Bar', the package should
>     provide 'libfoo-bar-perl'. This may be used as the package's name if
>     the result is not too long and cumbersome. Or the package's name may
>     be an abbreviated version, and the longer name put in the Provides
>     field.
> Also, although they are not currently part of the formal policy, there
> are conventions to use similar naming for java (and maybe python) module
> packages, and if this proposal is passed, those informal policies should
> be updated to work the same way.
> Transition:
> There is no need for a transition plan for this proposal. It allows
> existing packages to remain unchanged, while new packages use shorter
> names as desired. Existing packages can be renamed to shorter names at
> their maintainers' discretion, though if they do, they'll have to watch
> out for versioned dependancies (rare; very little depends on perl module
> packages at all).

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

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