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Status of next Policy release

Here's a quick braindump on where I think we are on releasing the next
version of Policy.  (I think that version should probably end up being
3.8.0, given the number of changes that we're putting into it.)

There are two bugs remaining in the set that I decided to tackle for this

#172436: BROWSER and sensible-browser standardization
#367984: Clarify handling of run-time and compile-time support programs

I owe a response on #172436 laying out the reasons for and against taking
some action as I see them so that we can reach a final decision on what to
do about that bug.  #367984 needs review and seconds from someone else.

The old Policy process documentation needs to be dropped from the package.
I don't think there's any need to retain it outside of the VCS repository,
but please correct me if I'm missing something.  I'm not currently
planning on writing an SGML version of the new process for the next
release; instead, I plan on just pointing people at the wiki.  Let me know
if that seems wrong.

The resolution of the README.source proposal is going to make a lot of
packages instabuggy.  Not RC-buggy, of course, but still, I think it
deserves some advance warning.  Accordingly, I'm going to post to
debian-devel-announce about that one and give an example of a
README.source for a package that uses quilt.  This will also serve as
final review by the developer body that we're doing the right thing with
the resolution of that bug.  Hopefully we can get generic README.source
files into quilt and dpatch around the same time that the new Policy comes

There are several more slam-dunk bugs that I'll probably see about getting
into this next release:

#143941: Mandate UTF-8 for control files
#208011: Mandate UTF-8 for control files (merged)
#241333: Mandate UTF-8 for changelog files

These were release goals and NMUs have fixed all packages in the archive,
so there's no reason we can't introduce these as a must now.

I would also like to resolve:

#186700: Sorting and meaning of an empty Debian revision is unclear
#458910: Policy and dpkg disagree on sorting of a -0 Debian revision
#462589: Description doesn't make sense (and dpkg no longer generates it)
         for source-only *.changes files

since these are places where Policy and our current tools differ and they
all seem quite straightforward to resolve.  If one of the dpkg developers
could research those three bugs and tell us what Policy should say to
match dpkg's behavior, I think that would be the fastest and easiest way
to resolve them (none of the issues seem important enough to modify the
behavior of dpkg to match Policy, even if Policy were more correct, which
is rather dubious in these cases).

I may also knock off some of the informative bugs, although none of those
are requirements for the next release.

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

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