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Re: Comma in Maintainer field

Ian Jackson <ijackson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> I think nowadays we should specify that this field, and Uploaders, are
> in RF822 recipient field syntax.

I am opposed to this on the grounds that there are two types of RFC822
parsers in the world: correct ones that will drive you insane if you
attempt to understand them, and incorrect ones.  Nearly all of them are in
the latter bucket.

Full RFC822 is incredibly complicated and way, way beyond any tool that we
currently use for Debian packages.

I'm opposed to introducing significance for double quotes in the
maintainer field for the same reason, unless it's part of standardizing
some rather simple syntax.  (I'd much rather just ban commas in Maintainer
except as a separator and ask people with commas in their names to omit
them, which isn't great but which is very common.)

If we're going to change the syntax, I think we need something much, much
simpler to parse than RFC822.

> We can expect any program which wants to split it into separate
> recipients to have a full-on email header parser.

I don't think this assumption is at all justified given the number of
tools in Debian that need to parse the Maintainer field for various
purposes (tracker.debian.org, dd-list, etc.).

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