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Re: [DEP-5] [patch] Syntax of the files.

Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org> writes:
> Le Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 06:18:24PM -0700, Russ Allbery a écrit :

>> I would prefer to stick to a Debian control file format, since
>> otherwise implementing DEP-5 aware checks in tools like Lintian is
>> going to be more painful than it needs to be.

> I will come back with my favorite deviation of the format only if I
> manage to write a Lintian parser.

Even if you write a Lintian parser, that doesn't really address my
concern, since now the Lintian maintainers have to maintain two parsers.

Proliferation of file formats is a bug, not a feature, when you're trying
to make things readable by software.

> However, I think that it is important to specify the format anyway,
> because although the DEP uses a syntax that is close to the Debian
> control file format or the RFC 822, it has some differences. If we would
> like people to write DEP-5 files or parsers without extensive knowledge
> of our oral culture, we need to write it down.

I agree with this.  Ideally, though, you should be able to just reference
the specification of the Debian control file format in Policy.  Any
deficiencies in that specification that lead you to want to add additional
information in DEP-5 for the general format should just be fixed in Policy
so that anyone writing a Debian control file parser will be able to make
use of them.

I believe most of these issues are already addressed by referring to the
syntax description in Policy with the exception of:

>  * Debian control files allow comment lines that start with a sharp
>    sign, but currently DEP-5 does not.

I'm not a big fan of this feature in Debian control files and hence not a
big fan of it for DEP-5 either, but don't really object if we adopt it
here for consistency.

>  * In Debian control files, a succession of two empty lines ends the
>    machine-parseable record. I am not sure we want this for DEP-5…

I believe we do want this.

> I attached a patch as a proposition of a simple syntax description. We
> could refer to the Debian Policy instead, but it contain specific
> instrctions about fields where folding is not allowed, that may be
> confusing, especially if we would like to propose Upstreams to use DEP-5
> for themselves.

I don't believe Policy 5.1 has this problem.

> Also, it does not mention double-empty line as a record terminator.

Yes, it does.  The second sentence of Policy 5.1, and also the
second-to-last paragraph.

> Lastly, for the sake of simplicity, I propose that we chose either
> ‘stanza’ or ‘paragraph’ and use exclusively this term.

Please use paragraph for consistency with Policy.

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

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