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Bug#196367: debian-policy: clarify what to do about priority mismatches

package debian-policy
user debian-policy@packages.debian.org
usertags 196367 + discussion
tags 196367 + patch

Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> writes:

> Policy's current wording (in §2.5 and §5.6.6) strongly implies that an
> erroneous Priority value is a Policy-violating bug in the package with
> that priority. There is consensus that should not the case, especially
> now that ftpmaster maintains Priority values in an override file; so
> the Policy wording needs to be improved.
> There are open questions:

Meanwhile, here is my take on a patch to address this bug. It makes
assumptions about some of the answers to the open questions, so it is
likely wrong or incomplete.

=== modified file 'policy.sgml'
--- policy.sgml	2010-08-18 20:55:34 +0000
+++ policy.sgml	2010-08-28 00:43:43 +0000
@@ -783,9 +783,16 @@
 	  Packages must not depend on packages with lower priority
-	  values (excluding build-time dependencies).  In order to
+	  values (excluding build-time dependencies). In order to
 	  ensure this, the priorities of one or more packages may need
-	  to be adjusted.
+	  to be adjusted.<footnote>
+	    The Priority field of an existing Debian package does not
+	    determine the priority of that package;
+	    see <ref id="f-Priority">. For this reason, the package
+	    maintainer cannot fix this directly, and it is not
+	    recommended to file bugs against packages whose source
+	    declares an incorrect Priority field.
+	  </footnote>
@@ -2842,6 +2849,13 @@
 	    It also gives the default for the same field in the binary
+	  <p>
+	    Once a package is in Debian, this field no longer
+	    determines the priority of the package in the archive.
+	    Instead, the Debian ftpmaster team maintains priority
+	    values in the “override file”.
+	  </p>
 	<sect1 id="f-Package">

 \           “I do not believe in forgiveness as it is preached by the |
  `\        church. We do not need the forgiveness of God, but of each |
_o__)                    other and of ourselves.” —Robert G. Ingersoll |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>

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