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

Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org> writes:

> 1) The Policy may change independantly of the DEP.

> I think that the DEP should indicate the version of the Policy it refers
> to, not only in the – however improbable – case that a change is
> introduced to the syntax of Debian control files, but also in case
> editorial changes of the Policy modify the chapter or section
> number. Another workaround would be to cite the section's title.

This raises something else I was thinking about.  I believe that technical
DEPs, if adopted, should move into the debian-policy package for further
maintenance.  We have a well-defined method for maintaining technical
documents, plus an active team to take care of editorial changes like
cross-reference information like this, and I think it would be appropriate
for these documents.  (Note: I don't mean including it in the Policy
document itself or making DEP-5 required or even recommended, just
maintaining it as part of the debian-policy package with the same change

> 2) The Policy does not describe the DEP syntax for escaping empty lines.

> Policy §5.1 does not describe the mechanism of using a space plus a dot
> to escape empty lines in field values, but we can not refer simply to
> §5.6.13 (Description) because the DEP-5 License field is verbatim,
> whereas the debian/control Description filed requires an additional
> space to signal verbatim sections.

Yes, this should be described in DEP-5.

> [In the end, all this hassle of adding dots in License fields originates
> in the fact that debian/control files also separate paragraphs with
> liens containing space or tabs only… Why?]

It's ambiguous about whether that's actually a paragraph separator or
not.  There's an open bug about that.  But regardless, we'll never say
that a line containing only whitespace is part of the field because that's
way too fragile.  Too many things will delete trailing whitespace
automatically, which would corrupt such a format.  It's either a paragraph
separator or it's a syntax error; Policy isn't very clear about that right

> 3) License text will contain leading spaces.

> In debian/control's Description field, the field value keeps the leading
> space of the line, but the description is later wrapped again unless an
> extra space signals a verbatim section.

> In DEP-5's License fields, the text formatting would be lost if we
> word-wrapped the field value. Therefore, if strictly following the
> Debian control file format, license texts will contain an extra space,
> which is not a problem but is not elegant.

I can't imagine how this could possibly matter to anyone.  I routinely add
or remove extra indentation for licenses when I move them from file to
file even without DEP-5.  But DEP-5 can certainly say that the leading
spaces are not part of the field value.

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

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