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Re: Comma in Maintainer field

On Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 12:46:51PM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Russ Allbery writes ("Re: Comma in Maintainer field"):
> > 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.
> That doesn't matter because we can use an existing one.  Basically
> every programming language has a plausible library for this nowadays.
> Bear in mind that you do not need to parse the field to compare for
> equality, to search for it, or to send it email.
The implication of Russ' point is that there is only "one" way to be
compliant, but many ways to be non-compliant.

In my experience, various RFC822 parsing solutions tend to not produce
the same results as others.

> > 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.).
> It's just a question of `import mail.headers' or whatever.
Which works if everyone uses the same version of only that one parser in
that language. If that were the case, then the consistent application
of the standard, even if the specific implementation is incorrect, makes
the point moot. However, not everybody is using the same language, or
even the same parser amongs all users of a given language.

I don't know if in practice the various implementations are "close
enough" for the purposes of the maintainer/uploader fields in the
control file. However, there is a high likelihood that enough of them
are different enough to be problematic from the perspective of a
heterogeneous tooling infrastructure.



Roberto C. Sánchez