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Re: Do we want to Require or Recommend DH


On Tue 14 May 2019 at 12:30PM +01, Ian Jackson wrote:

> Sean Whitton writes ("Re: Do we want to Require or Recommend DH"):
>> I agree with Scott's emphasis on the distinction between new and
>> existing packages.  Perhaps application of the distinction could be
>> extended: perhaps there are other things that we could require of new
>> packages, while creating no expectation that these requirements be met
>> of older packages.
>> In general, if a policy requirement or convention should apply to new
>> packages, then it should apply to existing packages, too.  But
>> specifically where applying the requirement to an existing package is
>> hugely more work than applying it to a new package, perhaps the
>> requirement ought to be limited to new packages alone.
> There is a big distinction between recommendations which directly
> affect the functioning of the binary packages, and recommendations
> which make future development easier.

Good point.

> For the latter - and use of dh is an example - it makes a lot of sense
> to make the recomendations stronger for new packages.
> I also think it would be very valuable for policy to recommend things
> like this as the usual case, without mandating them.  If for any
> reason the maintainer doesn't want to use dh, then they can leave a
> wontfix bug open (or something) to document the reasons.

It might be useful to note here that patches to debian-policy which
suggest using particular tools, without using "recommends", "should" or
"must" (etc.), do not need to go through the Policy Changes Process, and
can just be applied immediately.

For example, in Policy we currently have:

    The easiest way to call "dpkg-shlibdeps" correctly is to use a
    package helper framework such as debhelper. If you are using
    debhelper, the "dh_shlibdeps" program will do this work for you.


    Note that under some circumstances it may be useful to install a
    shared library unstripped, for example when building a separate
    package to support debugging.  The debhelper *dh_strip`* tool can
    create such packages automatically.

This sort of text, which is informative rather than normative, does not
need to go through the consensus-building process.

Sean Whitton

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