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Bug#593909: debian-policy: Clarifications about the syntax of Debian control files.

Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org> writes:

> to this list I would like to add comment lines. Currently they are
> described in §5.2 (5.2 Source package control files -- debian/control),
> as an additional syntax, which strongly suggests that they are allowed
> in this file only.

That's correct; they're only allowed in source package control files.

> Independantly of whether this is confirmed or not, this syntactic
> information would rather belong to §5.1, that defines the syntax of the
> control files, instead of §5.2, which like the next chapters §5.3–6
> lists the fields allowed in the different Debian control files. I would
> therefore propose to have in §5.1:

>   Lines starting with # without any preceding whitespace are ‘comments
>   lines’ and are ignored, even in the middle of continuation lines for a
>   multiline field. They do not end a multiline field.

> If comment lines are only allowed in source package control files, we could
> add:

>   The use of such comments must be allowed on a per-file basis.

I would rather just say "These comments are only permitted in source
package control files (<file>debian/control</file>)," and preferrably say
that as the first sentence of the paragraph rather than the last.  I can't
imagine us ever adding support for them anywhere else.

> And then in §5.2:

>   Comment lines are allowed.

This is fine.

> The benefit of this is that it concentrates in §5.1 all the instructions
> to write a basic parser for Debian control files.

Yes, that's a good idea.

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

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