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Bug#638060: debian-policy: §9.1.1: FHS should also be a "must" for generated files

Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> writes:
> On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 11:33:06PM +0200, Axel Beckert wrote:

>> Policy 9.1.1 states: "The location of all installed files and
>> directories must comply with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS)
>> [...]".

>> IMHO this should not only cover "installed files" (which I interpret
>> as "files being shipped in packages")

> I think this is a wrong interpretation.  There's nothing in policy that
> defines "installed files" the way you've interpreted it here, and I've
> seen no evidence of confusion on this point on the part of package
> maintainers up to now - we clearly have a distribution which complies
> with the FHS for both files shipped in packages and files generated by
> packages.

> I also think that all of the suggested wording changes in this bug are
> worse than what we currently have, because they make the language much
> less clear.

> So I would rather see this bug closed as wontfix than see any of the
> proposed patches applied.

I have to admit that while I've not seen confusion about this point, I'm
not fond of that wording either.  The word "installed" is an odd wording
choice when it's intended to cover, say, mail daemon queue files, which I
would never describe in another context as being "installed."

My inclination would be to just remove the word "installed," since I don't
think it's adding any value here, and instead just say:

    The location of all files and directories must comply with the
    Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS), version 2.3, with the exceptions
    noted below, and except where doing so would violate other terms of
    Debian Policy.

What do others think?  I'm not inclined to worry much about the edge case
where someone explicitly configures a package to use non-FHS paths.

>> It is not clear where to draw the line between these extremes, for
>> example, would a script that installs a software to a non-standard
>> location (e.g., because upstream has weird opinions about such things)
>> after asking the user to confirm this be allowed in Debian?

> It would probably be allowed.  However, it would still be buggy under
> Policy.

Agreed.  I don't think we need to go out of our way to say that non-free
packages might violate Policy.  We already say that when we talk about

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

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