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Bug#501930: Bug#501927: debian_bundle fails with empty lines containing a space

On Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 07:26:59PM +0200, Siegfried Gevatter (RainCT) wrote:
> Further, PackageFile fails if there is more than one empty line. Eg.,
> http://revu.ubuntuwire.com/revu1-incoming/ampache-0708220100/ampache-
> IMHO those cases should be handled well even if debian-policy didn't
> allow it, as I've found *hundreds* of files that can't be parsed, and
> that only on REVU... And robustness can't hurt :).

Nope, I'm against such an argument.

In addition to the technical requirements, you can see the
debian-policy as a specification of how to interpret many bits of
Debian (and by extension of its derivatives). I've been there while
implementing various parts of python-debian, we do have a lot of
"robustness" in many legacy tools, but this is definitely a *problem*
when such "robustness" is not documented.

In the long run, without docs, you will end up with various degrees of
"robustness" in different tools. At that point, if one wants to
implement something on top of that technical part, it will ends up
needing to mimic the behavior of random tools on the basis of their
popularity. That is not good.

In fact, in this specific case, I've been very surprised of not
finding in the policy an explicit reference to RFC822 [1]. A lot of
implementation I've seen around of Packages/Sources file do use legacy
RFC822 libraries, having that practice written in policy would be
helpful (note that at that point, whether spaces are accepted or not
will depend entirely on the RFC822 standard).


[1] here I'm implicitly assuming that RFC822 also describe mailbox
    files, rather than only mail messages, but I haven't checked
    that. If it does not substitute RFC822 with the standard defining
    mailboxes, if any ...

Stefano Zacchiroli -*- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
I'm still an SGML person,this newfangled /\ All one has to do is hit the
XML stuff is so ... simplistic  -- Manoj \/ right keys at the right time

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