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Re: tasks overview wishlist: Canonical citing reference

Hi Michael,

I fully support the idea of providing a proper reference to the software
we distribute. In Debian-Med, I put one in the packages's description,
but I am not completely satisfied with this because:

 - In some case, more than one would be necessary, and it would overload
   the description.
 - I did not follow strict formattign rules, which is not too helpful for
   people who want to use citation managers.
 - As you wrote, it does not belong to the description anyway ;)

You propose an additional control field for after Lenny release, but my
gut feeling is that there will be a strong opposition on
debian-devel@l.d.o, as extra fields make some files such as Packages.gz
heavier, which is a disadvantage for platforms with limited CPU power,
that have to parse this file despite not being likely to use this

Maybe we can separate two issues:

 - Providing proper citations to the users of our packages.
 - Providing proper citations to the people browsing our task pages.

We could for instance settle on a format and simply start to
provide references in /usr/doc/package/references. This would already be
directly useful. When enough will be accumulated, we can thing about
some mechanisms that would use those references to keep a central file
up to date, that people could directly use with their reference
managers. This would add convenience. For the task webpages, if the
information is not in the Packages.gz file, it makes things a bit more
complicated. Maybe after establishing /usr/doc/package/citation we could
have a script that reads those files from the VCS repositories we use ?

With this approach we can start as soon as we agree on a mode of
operation, keep the things very simple at the beginning, and develop the
system as it gains popularity.

The format of /usr/doc/package/references could be a popular one, for
instance BibTeX, if it allows cross references to other systems like
DOI, PubMed, ...)

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Debian Med packaging team,
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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