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Re: DEP-5: removed files

[Redirecting to debian-project, per
http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2009/12/msg00025.html; M-F-T set.]

Hi Charles,

On Tue, Dec 08, 2009 at 09:56:29AM +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
> By the way, there was an interesting discussion in bugs.debian.org/521810 a
> couple of monthes ago, which ended on the conclusion that adding a “X-” prefix
> on extra fields in Debian control files does not bring much benefit.

I think most of the concerns in that bug are specific to debian/control and
dpkg's behavior of selectively copying/renaming fields when writing out
various output files.

> I propose to apply this to DEP-5:

>   ### Extra fields.

>   Extra fields can be added to any section. It is not recommended to prefix
>   their name by **`X-`**.

I'm not sure the second sentence adds much to this.  I suggest dropping it;
if someone wants to use X- for their field name, I don't see any reason to
disallow that, do you?

In addition, I wonder if more needs to be said about "extra fields".  For
instance, we presumably want these as fields instead of as comments because
we want to parse them; so what assumptions are implementors allowed to make
(or not) about the contents of these non-standard fields?  Should we be
defining a process for standardizing these new fields?  How do we avoid
collisions between two unrelated extensions that want to use the same field
name?  We might simply want to say that maintainers are allowed to add more
fields, and that compliant parsers must allow these fields without assuming
anything about their values.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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