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Bug#701081: debian-policy: mandate an encoding for filenames in binary packages

Hello everybody,

in light with the discussion about UTF-8 on the debian-devel mailing list,
I would like to close the issue 701081 about filename encodings.

I reproduce here the addition that has been worded by me, seconded by Jonathan
Nieder and Julian Gilbey, and supported by others.

>       <sec id="filenames">
>         <heading>File names</heading>
>         <p>
>           The name of the files installed by binary packages in the system PATH 
>           (namely <tt>/bin</tt>, <tt>/sbin</tt>, <tt>/usr/bin</tt>,
>           <tt>/usr/sbin</tt> and <tt>/usr/games/</tt>) must be encoded in
>           ASCII.
>         </p>
>         <p>
>           The name of the files and directories installed by binary packages
>           outside the system PATH must be encoded in UTF-8 and should be
>           restricted to ASCII when they can be represented in that character
>           set.
>         </p>
>       </sec>

The last objections were that it does not mandate ASCII for configuration files,
and that the system PATH should not be defined here.

For the system PATH, I think that we can move the definition anytime to a new
dedicated section; it only requires somebody to work on it and propose a
wording.  Alternatively, what is in parenthesis above can be turned into a

For the configuration files, further restrictions would make some packages
non-compliant, and are not consensual.  On the other hand, the proposed patch
respects the current practice, through its general recommendation of ASCII with
a "should".

Unless there are further objections, I will go ahead with the wording above
(or with the parenthesis turned in a footnote).

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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