Debian Bug report logs - #555743
dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza

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Package: dpkg-dev; Maintainer for dpkg-dev is Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>; Source for dpkg-dev is src:dpkg.

Reported by: Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>

Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2009 15:42:01 UTC

Severity: wishlist

Found in version dpkg/1.15.4.1

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Report forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, djpig@debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Wed, 11 Nov 2009 15:42:08 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>:
New Bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to djpig@debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 11 Nov 2009 15:42:08 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #5 received at submit@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>
To: Debian Bug Tracking System <submit@bugs.debian.org>
Subject: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2009 16:37:15 +0100
Package: dpkg-dev
Version: 1.15.4.1
Severity: wishlist
File: /usr/bin/dpkg-gencontrol

[ This topic has been discussed in the past at least by djpig, which I'm
  Cc-ing, but I can't find trace of it in the BTS. ]

It would be nice to have support for a Description field in the source
stanza of debian/control.

My rationale for that is manyfold:

0) (Starting intuition) most source package have a description per se,
   intuitively, that is the same description you'd find on the upstream
   homepage that made you download a specific software. Sure different
   binary packages can have different specific purpose, but it is in
   most cases possible to have a single all-encompassing description.

1) Various pieces of Debian infrastructure would benefit from
   source package descriptions, a few examples:
   - the PTS (currently lacking entirely per-source-package
     descriptions)
   - packages.d.o for its source pages
   - DDPO (currently implementing a custom heuristic to map per-binary
     descriptions to sources)

2) A frequent pattern in debian/control is as follows:

    Package: a
    Description: a is foo bar ...
     Project src is .... (COMMON TEXT)
     .
     In this package you find a

    Package: b
    Description: b is baz quux ...
     Project src is .... (COMMON TEXT)
     .
     In this package you find b

  Source descriptions can be used to factoring out COMMON TEXT in a
  single place.


I'm reporting this bug report against dpkg-dev because, AFAICT, it would
be simply possible to implement this wishlist as an expansion done by
dpkg-gencontrol at the end of the build. The expansion would simply copy
the COMMON TEXT from the source package description (if any) at the
beginning of each binary package description (possibly adding a
paragraph separator "\n.\n").  I've no idea if such a naive
implementation would have drawbacks elsewhere.

Of course, to fully exploit the advantages required for the use cases
above, changes in other infrastructure part would be needed (most
notably in all libraries parsing Sources). Still, implementing the above
in dpkg-dev would at least solve the issue (2) above, possibly paving
the way to a more gradual diffusion.

What is the stance of dpkg-dev maintainers on this?

TIA,
Cheers.

-- System Information:
Debian Release: squeeze/sid
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (500, 'unstable'), (500, 'testing')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)

Kernel: Linux 2.6.31-1-amd64 (SMP w/2 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=it_IT.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=it_IT.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash

Versions of packages dpkg-dev depends on:
ii  binutils                      2.20-3     The GNU assembler, linker and bina
ii  bzip2                         1.0.5-3    high-quality block-sorting file co
ii  dpkg                          1.15.4.1   Debian package management system
ii  libtimedate-perl              1.1900-1   Time and date functions for Perl
ii  lzma                          4.43-14    Compression method of 7z format in
ii  make                          3.81-7     An utility for Directing compilati
ii  patch                         2.5.9-5    Apply a diff file to an original
ii  perl [perl5]                  5.10.1-7   Larry Wall's Practical Extraction 
ii  perl-modules                  5.10.1-7   Core Perl modules

Versions of packages dpkg-dev recommends:
ii  build-essential               11.4       Informational list of build-essent
ii  fakeroot                      1.14.3     Gives a fake root environment
ii  gcc [c-compiler]              4:4.3.4-1  The GNU C compiler
ii  gcc-4.1 [c-compiler]          4.1.2-27   The GNU C compiler
ii  gcc-4.3 [c-compiler]          4.3.4-6    The GNU C compiler
ii  gnupg                         1.4.10-2   GNU privacy guard - a free PGP rep
ii  gpgv                          1.4.10-2   GNU privacy guard - signature veri

Versions of packages dpkg-dev suggests:
ii  debian-keyring [debian-mainta 2009.08.27 GnuPG (and obsolete PGP) keys of D

-- no debconf information




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 10:12:06 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 10:12:07 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #10 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>
To: Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>, 555743@bugs.debian.org
Cc: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#555743: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 11:05:14 +0100
Hi,

On Wed, 11 Nov 2009, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> It would be nice to have support for a Description field in the source
> stanza of debian/control.
> 
> My rationale for that is manyfold:
> 
> 0) (Starting intuition) most source package have a description per se,
>    intuitively, that is the same description you'd find on the upstream
>    homepage that made you download a specific software. Sure different
>    binary packages can have different specific purpose, but it is in
>    most cases possible to have a single all-encompassing description.

Should that description be exported in the .dsc then ?

[ Skipping tools that would benefit from the information ]

> 2) A frequent pattern in debian/control is as follows:
> 
>     Package: a
>     Description: a is foo bar ...
>      Project src is .... (COMMON TEXT)
>      .
>      In this package you find a
> 
>     Package: b
>     Description: b is baz quux ...
>      Project src is .... (COMMON TEXT)
>      .
>      In this package you find b
> 
>   Source descriptions can be used to factoring out COMMON TEXT in a
>   single place.
> 
> 
> I'm reporting this bug report against dpkg-dev because, AFAICT, it would
> be simply possible to implement this wishlist as an expansion done by
> dpkg-gencontrol at the end of the build. The expansion would simply copy
> the COMMON TEXT from the source package description (if any) at the
> beginning of each binary package description (possibly adding a
> paragraph separator "\n.\n").  I've no idea if such a naive
> implementation would have drawbacks elsewhere.

If I do something like that it's rather with substvars. You could use
${source:Description:body} and ${source:Description:title} in the binary
package description to refer to the the corresponding parts of the source
description.

> What is the stance of dpkg-dev maintainers on this?

I think it's ok. But some more feedback would be welcome, CCing -devel for
this.

Cheers,
-- 
Raphaël Hertzog

Like what I do? Sponsor me: http://ouaza.com/wp/2010/01/05/5-years-of-freexian/
My Debian goals: http://ouaza.com/wp/2010/01/09/debian-related-goals-for-2010/




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 12:06:17 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Emilio Pozuelo Monfort <pochu@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 12:06:17 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #15 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Emilio Pozuelo Monfort <pochu@debian.org>
To: Debian Developers <debian-devel@lists.debian.org>, 555743@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#555743: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 2010 13:03:57 +0100
On 02/03/10 11:05, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> On Wed, 11 Nov 2009, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
>> What is the stance of dpkg-dev maintainers on this?
> 
> I think it's ok. But some more feedback would be welcome, CCing -devel for
> this.

The substvars approach sounds good to me. I think I'd use it quite a lot,
specially in libraries.

Cheers,
Emilio




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 12:09:05 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 12:09:05 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #20 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Cc: 555743@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#555743: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 13:06:57 +0100
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
On Tue, Mar 02, 2010 at 11:05:14AM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> > 0) (Starting intuition) most source package have a description per se,
> >    intuitively, that is the same description you'd find on the upstream
> >    homepage that made you download a specific software. Sure different
> >    binary packages can have different specific purpose, but it is in
> >    most cases possible to have a single all-encompassing description.
> 
> Should that description be exported in the .dsc then ?

It is not clear to me what would be the pro/cons of having the
description there, so I cannot tell. However, if the rationale of the
current information in .dsc is currently "all source package information
are there", then yes, it would make sense (even though I don't care that
much).

> [ Skipping tools that would benefit from the information ]

Fair enough. Still, for the others interesting to comment on this
wishlist bug report, please check the original bug report to know which
tools and infrastructure parts would benefit. It is quite a relevant set
of tools.

> > 2) A frequent pattern in debian/control is as follows:
<snip>
> If I do something like that it's rather with substvars. You could use
> ${source:Description:body} and ${source:Description:title} in the binary
> package description to refer to the the corresponding parts of the source
> description.

That it *can* be currently implemented using substvars is clear. As
usual however, there is a trade-off between expressivity of the current
tool set (i.e. it can be done) and convenience (i.e. how easy it is). I
believe currently no one is doing that, but I'm also convinced that if
supported out of the box it will become a quite handy feature to reduce
information duplication and be kind with various parts of our toolchain.

> I think it's ok. But some more feedback would be welcome, CCing -devel
> for this.

Thanks for the feedback and for the initiative.

Cheers.

-- 
Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime
[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 12:42:06 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 12:42:06 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #25 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>
To: Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>
Cc: Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>, 555743@bugs.debian.org, debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#555743: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 2010 13:38:26 +0100
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
Le mardi 02 mars 2010 à 11:05 +0100, Raphael Hertzog a écrit : 
> If I do something like that it's rather with substvars. You could use
> ${source:Description:body} and ${source:Description:title} in the binary
> package description to refer to the the corresponding parts of the source
> description.

I think I like the idea. I often found myself repeating the first
paragraph of the long description in each binary package, so this would
help reduce duplication and avoid such things to get out-of-sync.

Cheers,
-- 
 .''`.      Josselin Mouette
: :' :
`. `'   “I recommend you to learn English in hope that you in
  `-     future understand things”  -- Jörg Schilling
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Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 12:42:08 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 12:42:08 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #30 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>
To: Debian Developers <debian-devel@lists.debian.org>
Cc: 555743@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#555743: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 13:39:31 +0100
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
On Tue, Mar 02, 2010 at 01:03:57PM +0100, Emilio Pozuelo Monfort wrote:
> The substvars approach sounds good to me. I think I'd use it quite a lot,
> specially in libraries.

That, however, does not solve the problem of how to access a source
package description from infrastructure tools such as DDPO, the PTS,
etc.  More generally, it does not solve the problem of where to tag that
information as such: you would just solve the problem of "description
factorization" across multiple binary packages.

Cheers.

-- 
Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime
[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 13:06:12 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 13:06:12 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #35 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Cc: 555743@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#555743: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 14:04:56 +0100
On Tue, 02 Mar 2010, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 02, 2010 at 01:03:57PM +0100, Emilio Pozuelo Monfort wrote:
> > The substvars approach sounds good to me. I think I'd use it quite a lot,
> > specially in libraries.
> 
> That, however, does not solve the problem of how to access a source
> package description from infrastructure tools such as DDPO, the PTS,
> etc.

The sensible answer is putting this information in the .dsc and thus in
the Sources files. But it means that the file would get somewhat bigger
and it might meant again supplementary changes in the infrastructutre if
people want to see those descriptions translated (but I'm not convinced
we need translations on Sources, users of those are mostly developers
contrary to Packages).

Cheers,
-- 
Raphaël Hertzog

Like what I do? Sponsor me: http://ouaza.com/wp/2010/01/05/5-years-of-freexian/
My Debian goals: http://ouaza.com/wp/2010/01/09/debian-related-goals-for-2010/




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 21:36:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 21:36:06 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #40 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org>
To: Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>
Cc: 555743@bugs.debian.org, debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#555743: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 2010 13:32:51 -0800
Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org> writes:

> If I do something like that it's rather with substvars. You could use
> ${source:Description:body} and ${source:Description:title} in the binary
> package description to refer to the the corresponding parts of the
> source description.

That sounds like a great idea to me.

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




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 22:48:10 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Tue, 02 Mar 2010 22:48:10 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #45 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au>
To: 555743@bugs.debian.org, debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#555743: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 2010 09:43:31 +1100
Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org> writes:

> If I do something like that it's rather with substvars. You could use
> ${source:Description:body} and ${source:Description:title} in the
> binary package description to refer to the the corresponding parts of
> the source description.

Sounds great, with the minor caveat that I'd rather not have the vars
using different terms from what is already used to describe those
fields. Instead, (bikeshed mode activate) I'd prefer
‘${source:Description:synopsis}’ and ‘${source:Description:full}’.

-- 
 \        “Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take |
  `\          for granted … but to weigh and consider.” —Francis Bacon |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Wed, 03 Mar 2010 07:18:02 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Christian PERRIER <bubulle@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 03 Mar 2010 07:18:02 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #50 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Christian PERRIER <bubulle@debian.org>
To: 555743@bugs.debian.org, debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#555743: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2010 06:44:39 +0100
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
Quoting Ben Finney (ben+debian@benfinney.id.au):

> Sounds great, with the minor caveat that I'd rather not have the vars
> using different terms from what is already used to describe those
> fields. Instead, (bikeshed mode activate) I'd prefer
> ‘${source:Description:synopsis}’ and ‘${source:Description:full}’.

agreed, too. We use "synopsis" in most of our documentations and this
is also how we refer to it in dle reviews.....



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Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Wed, 03 Mar 2010 07:18:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Christian PERRIER <bubulle@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 03 Mar 2010 07:18:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #55 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Christian PERRIER <bubulle@debian.org>
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Cc: 555743@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#555743: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2010 06:43:12 +0100
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
Quoting Raphael Hertzog (hertzog@debian.org):

> and it might meant again supplementary changes in the infrastructutre if
> people want to see those descriptions translated (but I'm not convinced
> we need translations on Sources, users of those are mostly developers
> contrary to Packages).


Those source packages descriptions would indeed be, most of the time,
the boilerplate that's being put (and often repeated) in each and
every binary package produced by the source package.

This approach with a common boilerplate that's a description of the
source package and a few specific paragraphs for each binary package,
is promoted through the reviews of descriptions done in
debian-l10n-english.

It does not increase the burden on translators....it even reduces it
quite often as DDTP translation is based on paragraphs.

In general, I like this proposal and I think we could quite highly
benefit from it. The idea of using substvars to be able to repeat the
source package description and use it as a boilerplate is particularly interesting.

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Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Wed, 03 Mar 2010 10:27:05 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Goswin von Brederlow <goswin-v-b@web.de>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 03 Mar 2010 10:27:05 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #60 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Goswin von Brederlow <goswin-v-b@web.de>
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Cc: 555743@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#555743: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 2010 11:25:29 +0100
Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org> writes:

> On Tue, Mar 02, 2010 at 11:05:14AM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
>> > 0) (Starting intuition) most source package have a description per se,
>> >    intuitively, that is the same description you'd find on the upstream
>> >    homepage that made you download a specific software. Sure different
>> >    binary packages can have different specific purpose, but it is in
>> >    most cases possible to have a single all-encompassing description.
>> 
>> Should that description be exported in the .dsc then ?
>
> It is not clear to me what would be the pro/cons of having the
> description there, so I cannot tell. However, if the rationale of the
> current information in .dsc is currently "all source package information
> are there", then yes, it would make sense (even though I don't care that
> much).

I think there are 2 things here:

1) Add a description to *.dsc

This would be just for packages.d.o or apt-cache showsrc. Buildd admins
could find it also usefull so they can quickly see what a package is
about without first having to lookup what binary packages a source
builds.

2) Factoring out a common paragraph from binary descriptions

If I understood this right the source description would be put into
substvars automatically and the binary description can then reuse that
variable.

This would make many control files smaller and avoid duplication of
text.  Chaning the common text would only need a change at one place
then.


I think both things are a good idea.

>> [ Skipping tools that would benefit from the information ]
>
> Fair enough. Still, for the others interesting to comment on this
> wishlist bug report, please check the original bug report to know which
> tools and infrastructure parts would benefit. It is quite a relevant set
> of tools.
>
>> > 2) A frequent pattern in debian/control is as follows:
> <snip>
>> If I do something like that it's rather with substvars. You could use
>> ${source:Description:body} and ${source:Description:title} in the binary
>> package description to refer to the the corresponding parts of the source
>> description.
>
> That it *can* be currently implemented using substvars is clear. As
> usual however, there is a trade-off between expressivity of the current
> tool set (i.e. it can be done) and convenience (i.e. how easy it is). I
> believe currently no one is doing that, but I'm also convinced that if
> supported out of the box it will become a quite handy feature to reduce
> information duplication and be kind with various parts of our toolchain.

But currently one would have to manually set the substvar and the text
it is set too would come from somewhere unintuitive. By having dpkg set
the substvar from the source description and ha ving this properly
documented it would make it obvious where the text comes from and allow
for easy translation.

Using a substvar gives the maintainer the flexibility to decide which
binary packages should have the common stanza included and which don't.
E.g. you could have 2 packages with the stanza and a third with a
completly different description.

>> I think it's ok. But some more feedback would be welcome, CCing -devel
>> for this.
>
> Thanks for the feedback and for the initiative.
>
> Cheers.

MfG
        Goswin




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Wed, 03 Mar 2010 14:33:02 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Loïc Minier <lool@dooz.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 03 Mar 2010 14:33:02 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #65 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Loïc Minier <lool@dooz.org>
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Cc: 555743@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#555743: dpkg-gencontrol: add support for Description:-s in the Source package stanza
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2010 12:34:59 +0000
On Tue, Mar 02, 2010, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> The sensible answer is putting this information in the .dsc and thus in
> the Sources files. But it means that the file would get somewhat bigger
> and it might meant again supplementary changes in the infrastructutre if
> people want to see those descriptions translated (but I'm not convinced
> we need translations on Sources, users of those are mostly developers
> contrary to Packages).

 While that seems sensible, I wonder whether it would make sense to
 include the information in Packages.gz instead.  There's a high level
 use case which is not too nicely covered at the moment: if one upgrades
 with a graphical package management tools displaying progress of the
 upgrade, it would typically show which package is being upgraded with
 its description, but you typically upgrade all binary packages from the
 same source at the same time, so in the list of packages to update,
 you'd likely see "The GTK+ graphical user interface library"
 (libgtk2.0-0), "The programs for the GTK+ graphical user interface
 library" (libgtk2.0-bin), "Common files for the GTK+ graphical user
 interface library" (libgtk2.0-common) while it would probably make
 sense to only offer a single entry for the software bundle being
 updated, i.e. for all binary packages provided by the same source, with
 a nice description.

 Now that use case still has a flaw in usability in that even per source
 package descriptions wouldn't mean much to non-developers, so it's
 probably a minor improvement in package managers not worth the effort
 of changing infrastucture etc.

-- 
Loïc Minier




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Wed, 10 Mar 2010 12:48:08 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 10 Mar 2010 12:48:09 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #70 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Cc: 555743@bugs.debian.org
Subject: source package descriptions: subtsvars are not enough
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 13:47:25 +0100
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
On Tue, Mar 02, 2010 at 11:05:14AM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> > It would be nice to have support for a Description field in the source
> > stanza of debian/control.

So, beside a few notable exceptions, the thread has a bit drifted to a
set of appreciations on the idea of using substvars to factorize out
common parts of package descriptions.  I agree it is a nice idea, but it
is not something we need specific support for (unless I'm missing some
glitch we can use it right now) and has several shortcomings:

- Most importantly: it does not solve the infrastructure problem,
  i.e. it does not encode properly the source package description so
  that it becomes part of package _metadata_.  This means that all
  infrastructure parts (the PTS, DDPO, UDD, potentially the BTS) are
  still at square 0: they don't know where to find a source package
  description.

  IOW: it is a cool hack for package maintainers, but it is a hack that
  gets resolved at package build time and then vanishes.

- It is not standardized: substvars are set via custom commands in
  debian/rules and there are thousands ways of setting them. When
  opening a random source package, one would not know where exactly to
  look for the common part of source package description. Nor an
  automated tool can extract it.

To fix that, it seems to me that the most reasonable solution advanced
in the thread is to add a proper "Description" field to source package
stanzas. Then, in addition, we can setup an automatic substvar, whose
content is the source description, that can then be used in package
description stanzas to interpolate the source description.

The obvious drawback is that Sources file will increase in size. Given
that the size will be small compared to Packages file, I personally
don't see it as a showstopper.

The appreciation that translators expressed wrt factorizing out text
from binary package description still applies to this proposal.

Cheers.

-- 
Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime
[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Wed, 10 Mar 2010 13:03:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 10 Mar 2010 13:03:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #75 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org, 555743@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: source package descriptions: subtsvars are not enough
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 13:58:21 +0100
On Wed, 10 Mar 2010, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> - It is not standardized: substvars are set via custom commands in
>   debian/rules and there are thousands ways of setting them. When
>   opening a random source package, one would not know where exactly to
>   look for the common part of source package description. Nor an
>   automated tool can extract it.

You completely misparsed my answer/suggestion. My suggestion is to follow
your advice, add a Description field in the source part of debian/control,
let it flow in the .dsc and Sources _AND_ modify dpkg-gencontrol so that
you can use new default substitution variables to reuse the source
description elsewhere. There would be no need for any custom command
in debian/rules.

> To fix that, it seems to me that the most reasonable solution advanced
> in the thread is to add a proper "Description" field to source package
> stanzas. Then, in addition, we can setup an automatic substvar, whose
> content is the source description, that can then be used in package
> description stanzas to interpolate the source description.

That's precisely what I have been suggesting.

Cheers,
-- 
Raphaël Hertzog

Like what I do? Sponsor me: http://ouaza.com/wp/2010/01/05/5-years-of-freexian/
My Debian goals: http://ouaza.com/wp/2010/01/09/debian-related-goals-for-2010/




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Wed, 10 Mar 2010 13:27:07 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 10 Mar 2010 13:27:07 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #80 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Cc: 555743@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: source package descriptions: subtsvars are not enough
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 14:25:42 +0100
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
On Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 01:58:21PM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> You completely misparsed my answer/suggestion. My suggestion is to follow

Sorry for not having been clear: I did not misunderstood your
suggestion, in fact ...

> > To fix that, it seems to me that the most reasonable solution advanced
> > in the thread is to add a proper "Description" field to source package

... the implicit subject here is you, I took your suggestion as the most
reasonable one (and yes, I should have made the subject explicit). If
everybody else on the thread is on the same line ... even better :-)

So, do we have a roadmap of what should be changed so that we can keep
track of this?

Cheers.

-- 
Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime
[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Wed, 10 Mar 2010 13:33:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Hector Oron <hector.oron@gmail.com>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 10 Mar 2010 13:33:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #85 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Hector Oron <hector.oron@gmail.com>
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org, 555743@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: source package descriptions: subtsvars are not enough
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 14:31:10 +0100
Hello,

2010/3/10 Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>:
> The obvious drawback is that Sources file will increase in size. Given
> that the size will be small compared to Packages file, I personally
> don't see it as a showstopper.

Would Packages file size decrease applying your suggestion?
Is there any chance to use this change to shrink Packages file size?

Regards,
-- 
 Héctor Orón




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Wed, 10 Mar 2010 13:57:06 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 10 Mar 2010 13:57:06 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #90 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org>
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Cc: 555743@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: source package descriptions: subtsvars are not enough
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 14:54:06 +0100
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
On Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 02:31:10PM +0100, Hector Oron wrote:
> Would Packages file size decrease applying your suggestion?
> Is there any chance to use this change to shrink Packages file size?

No, this proposal is completely orthogonal to that (and IMO should
remain so): we're talking about changing source package metadata which
do not belong to Packages and are not necessarily downloaded by users.

Cheers.

-- 
Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime
[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#555743; Package dpkg-dev. (Wed, 10 Mar 2010 17:33:07 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Peter Samuelson <peter@p12n.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Dpkg Developers <debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 10 Mar 2010 17:33:07 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #95 received at 555743@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Peter Samuelson <peter@p12n.org>
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org, 555743@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: source package descriptions: subtsvars are not enough
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 11:30:14 -0600
[Stefano Zacchiroli]
> To fix that, it seems to me that the most reasonable solution
> advanced in the thread is to add a proper "Description" field to
> source package stanzas. Then, in addition, we can setup an automatic
> substvar, whose content is the source description, that can then be
> used in package description stanzas to interpolate the source
> description.

Yes, I think pretty much everyone agrees that this would be the most
reasonable approach.

I wonder if, in addition (or perhaps instead of the above), it is
useful to have a substvar for just the _first paragraph_ of the source
Description.  What I'm thinking about is a short blurb you want to copy
into all your binary packages, but perhaps there is _more_ information
you also want to put in the source Description, which it wouldn't be
useful to copy everywhere.

In particular, I do think a single paragraph should always be
sufficient for copying into a binary Description.  We don't want those
things to get too long!  The question then is, might it be useful to
have a longer description in the source package?  I do not know.
Perhaps this additional information always belongs instead in the
diff.tar.gz somewhere, like debian/source.README.
-- 
Peter Samuelson | org-tld!p12n!peter | http://p12n.org/




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