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Re: Bug#549910: debian-policy: Specify requirement in terms of upgradeability, interface stability

On Tue, Oct 06 2009, Raphaël Hertzog wrote:

> Package: debian-policy
> Version:
> Severity: wishlist
> We have some unwritten packaging rules and it would be good to write them
> down even if some of them appear to be obvious to most of us. I think in
> particular to stuff like:
> - a package must at least be upgradable from one stable release to the next:
>   - transitional packages are required when the software is renamed
>   - {pre,post}{inst,rm} snippets dealing with upgrade issues must be kept
>     for at least one release (but it's better to keep them for 2-3
>     releases)
> - a package must provide some interface stability (names of programs,
>   ABI/API of libraries, location of data files, etc.) when other packages
>   depend on it. In that case,  any change must be coordinated and
>   appropriate dependencies must be added. It should give examples of
>   Breaks:, bumped Depends when an change is made in a non-backwards
>   compatible way, temporary compatibility symlinks, etc.
> We have enough cases like this that it would be good to be able to point
> to a policy chapter dealing with such requiremnts when we file bug
> reports. Also it's important information that newbie packagers should be

        Seems like not providing upgrade paths is already a bug, as is
 breaking unrelated software by changing  interfaces without warning.
 Do we really need to have policy to tell people not to create buggy
 packages? Policy is not, after all, a club to beat people on the head

        Ideally, policy should be minimalistic, and only contain things
  a) there are standard interfaces that packagers may depend on
     (./debian/control, for example)
  b) There are multiple technically viable solutions (web doc root is
     /var/www), and one must select one for interoperability.

        The size and density of the policy manuals are always an issue,
 and it seems to me that these are obvious bugs that are already covered
 by release manager requirements and bug reporting guidelines; adding
 these to policy would be redundant.

Bachelor: A guy who is footloose and fiancee-free.
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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