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

On Sat, Aug 28, 2010 at 1:34 PM, Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> wrote:
> Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org> writes:
>> Le Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 10:24:57AM -0700, Russ Allbery a écrit :
>>>     In fields where the value may not span multiple lines, the amount
>>>     of whitespace in the field body is not significant.  Any amount of
>>>     whitespace is equivalent to a single space.  Whitespace must not
>>>     appear inside names (of packages, architectures, files, or anything
>>>     else) or version numbers, or between the characters of
>>>     multi-character versoin relationships.
>> I still have difficulties to understand the meaning of this paragraph,
>> and to what fields it applies. Is it just specifiying that the parser,
>> in the case of fields that allow continuation lines, can be either
>> intructed to replace all white spaces and newlines by single spaces, or
>> to leave the value as it is, including the new lines?
> No, it's really trying to say that the amount of whitespace isn't
> significant.  I'm not sure how else to explain it.  That's one of those
> precise terms of art for which there isn't really an acceptable synonym,
> at least not that I can think of.  Replacing all whitespace with a single
> space is one of the things that you can do *because* the amount of
> whitespace is not significant, but it's not an equivalent statement.

It might be more *precise* to say that the field contains a series of
whitespace-delimited tokens, but I don't know if that would be more

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