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Bug#587377: debian-policy: Decide on arbitrary file/path names limit

Bill Allombert wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 02, 2011 at 10:17:32PM -0600, Jonathan Nieder wrote:

>> Another question: is Debian policy the right place to make a decisions
>> like this?  Ideally these maxima would be set using some cross-distro
>> standard like POSIX or the FHS.  Sadly:
> I do not think it is the purpose of Debian policy to limit file name and path 
> length without providing guidance.

Could you expand on that?  What sort of guidance could policy provide?

I admit that I have much less interest in this now that I understand
current packages are not butting against the practical limits.  But I
do think that an easily checkable "packages should not have absurdly
filenames" (in their files list; I do not mean to say anything about
files generated at runtime) could be helpful in communicating

 * what filesystems are usable for installing Debian?
 * how many characters of grace area can tools like dpkg-divert feel
   free to use?
 * when is enough enough and the current pathname scheme actually a
   bug that is going to prevent people from being able to install
   the package?

> Most of the time, files path are not chosen by the packager

This makes concrete, practically motivated advice about limits more
useful, no?

Hoping that is clearer,

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