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Bug#679956: please document the debian.net namespace and its entries

Package: www.debian.org
Severity: wishlist

[ full quote of the -project post at
  https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/06/msg00159.html for the
  bug report records ]

On Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 02:22:00AM +0100, Stuart Prescott wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> > - I've already discussed in a related thread of a few months ago how I
> >   think the current distinction between debian.net and debian.org should
> >   be documented, incidentally resolving other visibility problems of
> >   those services. Not that the dnsZoneEntry LDAP entry is publicly
> >   available, we should have an automated generated index of debian.net
> >   services, with pointers to the responsible DD. I think it'd be a good
> >   idea to have such index live at http://www.debian.net together with an
> >   explanation of the debian.net/.org distinction. I don't think *this
> >   part* of the confusion is enough to justify changes of the current
> >   scheme (but see below for another possible reason).
> > 
> >   Stuart Prescott (Cc:-ed) has already drafted an implementation of the
> >   index generation and I've encouraged him to submit it as a wishlist
> >   bug report + patch to the -www team a few weeks ago. Stuart: any news
> >   on that front? (I can't check if the bug report is on right now due to
> >   shaky mobile phone connection.)
> I discussed my draft implementation in #debian-www a week or so ago. For 
> those who are curious, the debian.net list and page I put together can be 
> viewed at:
> 	http://ircbots.debian.net/misc/debiandotnet
> (that URL just being a tmpdir on a machine with the right CSS and image 
> files in the right places for the debian theme)
> The reaction from #debian-www was underwhelming.
> * there was a suggestion to move this somewhere under /devel instead. That's 
> easy to do, but these are resources for both users and developers, so that 
> doesn't necessarily improve things.
> * there was a suggestion that DSA should generate this directly and include 
> it on db.debian.org. I've not talked to DSA about this idea but would 
> happily help them do that if they wanted.
> * the demo page includes the "description" from the existing wiki page [1] 
> and a description of the domain seems like a sensible thing to have. Any TXT 
> records that have been defined in LDAP for a domain are also used for the 
> descriptions. Since TXT records can't be defined for CNAME entries, I can't 
> see a good way of allowing the domain owner of a CNAME to provide or update 
> a description, unless LDAP were to carry TXT records for CNAMEs for 
> documentation purposes but ignore them when generating the zone file. [2]
> And that's where everything ground to a halt. Suggestions welcome.
> [1] http://wiki.debian.org/DebianNetDomains
> [2] Previous suggestions in this thread to use TXT records to find out
> who owns the domain (dig +short -ttxt love.debian.net) also fail for
> records that are CNAME records rather than A records for example, "dig
> +short -ttxt x.debian.net". 50% of all the debian.net records are
> CNAME not A so this method works half the time... Maybe we should
> publish a list of domain owners on the web?

I wouldn't worry too much about "underwhelming" feedback, maybe people
were just busy, not around or, legitimately, have different views on how
to implement this. But this is also why it is important to document the
state of this in a more stable place, and why I'm now submitting a bug.

I think we should have an official place that both documents what the
*.debian.net namespace is for (from the user POV) and provides an
automatically generated list of entries, together with the respective
contact points. AFAICT your implementation does exactly that: many
thanks for that! Stuart, can you please followup to the buglog attaching
your code as a patch?

About where to host the index, I think it belongs to some www.d.o page
and the -www team is best suited to suggest where. I'm not sure how they
handle pages that should be periodically re-generated as this one, but I
suspect they have a way to do so. Any hint?

Then, I've suggested in the past to have http://www.debian.net host such
a page, instead of the current redirection to www.d.o. I'm not sure
about what are DSA/-www preferences on this matter, hence my Cc. Either
way, having the page somewhere under www.d.o would be a first step. If
we also want to host it at www.d.n as I suggest, we can simply make that
a redirect to the specific www.d.o page.

Stefano Zacchiroli     zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences   ......   http://upsilon.cc/zack   ......   . . o
Debian Project Leader    .......   @zack on identi.ca   .......    o o o
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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