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Bug#620566: dpkg: "version number does not start with digit" is in contrast to policy

Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> On Sun, 03 Apr 2011, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> My inclination is to second this, but I want to make sure that we've
>> answered your and Julien's objections first.
> And for complete reference, dpkg accepts those version in
> /var/lib/dpkg/status (so that dpkg still works for users with affected
> packages installed) but will not a accept to install a .deb with a bad
> version anymore.

One possibility would be to mandate in policy that:

1. upstream_version must start with a digit;
2. package management tools should accept an upstream_version that does
   not start with a digit.

But that would be somewhat confusing in my opinion, and it might be
hard to sell (2) as something that belongs in policy.  If there were a
separate packaging system manual, life would be easier.  Lacking that,
I can see the potential value of dpkg validating the packages it
installs (though it's painful).

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