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DEP-5: file globbing

On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 06:18:24PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> > File globbing syntax
> > --------------------

> > Here is what I think represents the broader consensus from previous
> > discussion:

> >  * **`Files`**:  List of space-separated pathnames indicating files that
> >  have the same licence. Question marks indicate any character and
> >  asterisks indicate any string of characters. When this field is omitted
> >  in the first paragraph containing a `License` field, its value will be
> >  assumed to be '*'.  If multiple `Files` declaratioun match the same
> >  file, then only the last match counts.

> I would prefer to use the same syntax as .gitignore, since it already
> deals with all of the complicated cases of matching files in particular
> paths versus a file by that name anywhere in the tree and does so in a
> well-specified way.

Is http://www.kernel.org/pub/software/scm/git/docs/gitignore.html an
accurate description of the .gitignore syntax as you understand it?

I find several features here that are suboptimal:

 - Patterns are one per line.  While this sidesteps the question of escaping
   embedded spaces, it also consumes a lot more vertical space, reducing
   human readability.
 - I don't think we want to support negation of patterns; any pattern
   negation could instead be expressed as a separate stanza afterwards that
   overrides the previous one.
 - Use of a leading slash to anchor a pathname to the toplevel package
   directory is an unusual and non-intuitive convention that definitely adds
   complexity to the implementation of any tools that map Files: globs to
   the actual files.

For my part, I think DEP-5 is already on the right track regarding globbing
syntax, but badly needs improvement of the standards language.

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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