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Re: Working on debian developer's reference and "best packaging practices"

On Mon, May 13, 2002 at 01:29:59AM -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> >>"Anthony" == Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> writes:
>  Anthony> The documentation should be found wherever the dpkg
>  Anthony> maintainers want it, not wherever the -policy maintainers
>  Anthony> think might be fun.

> 	What policy contains won't be documentation. It shall be a
>  standard interface that must be implemented by any Debian packaging
>  tool -- and be the only policy requirement from Debian packages and
>  packaging tools.

> 	Since dpkg folk have already stated their commitment to not
>  changing interfaces out from under all the packages, this ought not
>  to be any inconvenience to them. Having a standard interface would
>  enable us to, *gasp*, allow the implementation of another packaging
>  tool. 

Julian, please note the above: this is "who's talking about dpkg anyway".

There is _absolutely_ no call for other packaging tools, and absolutely
_no_ need for a standard to make this easy or possible. Further, writing
such standards _without_ implementing two or more interoperable tools
is poor practice and generally results in useless standards. Reforming
policy into a pointless standards document, while gutting all the useful
best practices information into an as-yet hypothetical new document
seems a lot like a pointless exercise in bureacracy.

As one of the agitators for a policy team rather than a policy dictator,
one might've hoped that at the very least you might at least try to reach
a consensus, rather than dictating from on high about what policy will
and won't be.

A simple question: who, today, will be helped by having a document
called "debian policy" that documents the interfaces to dpkg? How
will this be more helpful than the existing dpkg manpages, or other
alternatives. Likewise, who is being helped, today, by the documentation
about best practices in policy?

BTW, I don't think I ever got a firm answer on which bits of policy
describe "best practices" rather than "standards", and are thus


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

     ``BAM! Science triumphs again!'' 
                    -- http://www.angryflower.com/vegeta.gif

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