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Re: [DEP5] [patch] Renaming the ‘Maintainer’ field ‘Contact’

Russ Allbery wrote:
> Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org> writes:
> > The purpose of the ‘Maintainer’ field is to provide a contact address
> > for the users of the software. But for some projects, the primary
> > corresondance address is not necessarly the developer's email
> > address. It can be a helpdesk, or a mailing list shared by multiple
> > projects. In some rare cases, the users may be asked to use other
> > communication media than email, for instance web forms.
> Why are we storing a contact address in the debian/copyright file at all?
> Policy 12.5 says:
>     In addition, the copyright file must say where the upstream sources
>     (if any) were obtained. It should name the original authors of the
>     package and the Debian maintainer(s) who were involved with its
>     creation.
> Nothing in there about a contact address.

Also confusing to call the field Maintainer, given that policy talks
about putting Debian maintainer information in the copyright file. (I
also think that is a relic and hope policy drops it.)

Similarly, the Name field is not data that policy requires be in
debian/copyright. On my latest read of DEP5, I thought this was
completly redundant with the already redundant source package name in
the changelog, control file, etc. Really it is intended to be the
software name as upstream spells/capitalizes it, and was earlier called
Upstream-Name. Now only a strangely capitalized example ("SOFTware")
hints at its purpose. Anyone not interested in going spelunking across
a svn repisitory, a bzr repository, and a wiki page will probably not
figure that out, and will put in redundant data.

I think this field is overkill and packages where it really makes
sense to indicate an upstream name could just use a comment. Or put the
information in the package's Description, which seems more useful, as well
as more common practice (see for example gnustep). A comment could also be
used to record information about past Debian maintainers.

see shy jo

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