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Re: DEP5: Extra fields without ‘X-’ prefix?

On Sat, 20 Nov 2010 09:22:48 +0000, Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.fi> wrote:
> On su, 2010-11-14 at 11:13 +0000, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> >         Extra fields can be added to any paragraph. No prefixing is
> >         necessary. Future versions of the `debian/copyright`
> >         specification will attempt to avoid conflicting specifications
> >         for widely used extra fields.
> > 
> > Is that enough? This is a minor detail, I'd like to not start specifying
> > too much about how parsers are supposed to handle the fields, etc.
> I ended up with this formulation, I hope that's acceptable to everyone:
>         -Extra fields can be added to any paragraph. Their name starts
>         by **`X-`**.
>         +Extra fields can be added to any paragraph. 
>         +No prefixing is necessary or desired, but please avoid names
>         similar
>         +to standard ones so that mistakes are easier to catch. 
>         +Future versions of the `debian/copyright`
>         +specification will attempt to avoid conflicting specifications
>         +for widely used extra fields.

It occurred to me before that this should also suggest that people ask
around before making up new names, but I thought that should probably go
without saying -- both that and this wording both read a little like
"don't be stupid" to me.

Not that I'm saying that we shouldn't say "Don't be stupid" if people
think that people need to be told that :-)

How about addressing this at a meta-level, by suggesting people consult
wider opinion:

  Extra fields can be added to any paragraph.
  Before introducing new field names you should request comments on the
  wisdom of the new field. When introducing it please also record it on:
  No ``X-'' prefix is required or desired in new field names.

At least that should prevent people coming up with similar but different
solutions to the same problems, and a wiki page can act as something
like a lock.

Not that I think there's anything wrong with what you already have, so
go with whatever you prefer.

Cheers, Phil.
|)|  Philip Hands [+44 (0)20 8530 9560]    http://www.hands.com/
|-|  HANDS.COM Ltd.                    http://www.uk.debian.org/
|(|  10 Onslow Gardens, South Woodford, London  E18 1NE  ENGLAND

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