Debian Bug report logs - #681289
changelog and copyright should be package metadata

Package: debian-policy; Maintainer for debian-policy is Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>; Source for debian-policy is src:debian-policy.

Reported by: Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>

Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 06:48:01 UTC

Severity: wishlist

Blocking fix for 684625: dpkg: Broken upgrade with multiarch and binNMU

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Report forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 06:48:05 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>:
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Message #5 received at submit@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>
To: Debian Bug Tracking System <submit@bugs.debian.org>
Subject: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 08:46:03 +0200
Package: debian-policy
Severity: wishlist
User: debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org
Usertags: changelog

Both the changelog and the copyright files are stored with a package's
normal data (within data.tar in the .deb) but they are really package
metadata (that should be part of control.tar in the .deb).

All the tools and services that currently extract both of those files
(packages.d.o, apt-listhanges, etc.) would benefit from being able to
extract them with the rest of the package metadata.

Additionnaly it also solves a problem that we have with multi-arch same
packages and bin-nmu. Such a bin-nmu means that the changelog on the
bin-nmued architecture will be different from the other arches and the
package is thus no longer co-installable.

We should thus modify the policy to say:

1/ that the changelog and copyright files ought to be installed in the
   DEBIAN directory along with the other control files

   (this will require changes in dh_installdocs and dh_installchangelogs)

2/ that programs that want to retrieve the changelog and/or copyright file
   of an installed package should try to use "dpkg-query --control-show <pkg>
   <changelog|copyrigh>" and fall back to the usual path if that fails.

   Those interfaces are available in wheezy's dpkg (>= 1.16.5).

3/ that programs that want to retrieve the changelog and/or copyright file
   of a .deb file should use dpkg-deb -I <file> <changelog|copyrigh>" (or
   look for the changelog/copyright file in the directory extracted
   with dpkg-deb -e <file>)

This should probably be included in a new major revision of the policy
(4.0 that you wanted to do shortly after wheezy's release?).

QUESTION: Shall we design some solution to ensure that
/usr/share/doc/<pkg>/{changelog.Debian.gz,copyright} are kept during the
transition period ?

If yes, we need to think of a solution that doesn't involve as much pain
as was the /usr/doc transition (i.e. we want a single tool that does it for
all packages rather than a maintainer script snippet in all packages).

-- System Information:
Debian Release: wheezy/sid
  APT prefers stable-updates
  APT policy: (500, 'stable-updates'), (500, 'proposed-updates'), (500, 'unstable'), (500, 'testing'), (500, 'stable'), (150, 'experimental')
Architecture: i386 (x86_64)
Foreign Architectures: amd64

Kernel: Linux 3.4-trunk-amd64 (SMP w/2 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=fr_FR.utf8, LC_CTYPE=fr_FR.utf8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash




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Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 15:12:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Gerfried Fuchs <rhonda@deb.at>:
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Message #10 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Gerfried Fuchs <rhonda@deb.at>
To: Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>, 681289@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 17:09:46 +0200
   Hi,

* Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org> [2012-07-12 08:46:03 CEST]:
> Both the changelog and the copyright files are stored with a package's
> normal data (within data.tar in the .deb) but they are really package
> metadata (that should be part of control.tar in the .deb).

 Are they?  I consider them documentation and expect them be next to the
documentation.

> All the tools and services that currently extract both of those files
> (packages.d.o, apt-listhanges, etc.) would benefit from being able to
> extract them with the rest of the package metadata.

 No, please don't use packages.d.o as a reasoning without having talked
to the packages.d.o maintainers.  This is also the reason why I tend to
close your bugreport against packages.d.o because the plan is to not
extract them anymore.  ftpmasters/dak are extracting them already and
providing them to us, so the packages.d.o site will *not* extract this
information in the future.

 And without any more than that statement I'm not really buying that it
really would be a benefit?

> Additionnaly it also solves a problem that we have with multi-arch same
> packages and bin-nmu. Such a bin-nmu means that the changelog on the
> bin-nmued architecture will be different from the other arches and the
> package is thus no longer co-installable.

 That might be the real issue, please don't push other reasonings to
front without contacting the people involved there whether this is
really the case.

> 2/ that programs that want to retrieve the changelog and/or copyright file
>    of an installed package should try to use "dpkg-query --control-show <pkg>
>    <changelog|copyrigh>" and fall back to the usual path if that fails.
> 
>    Those interfaces are available in wheezy's dpkg (>= 1.16.5).

 So that would force services to upgrade to wheezy as soon as the first
such package lands in unstable, right?

> 3/ that programs that want to retrieve the changelog and/or copyright file
>    of a .deb file should use dpkg-deb -I <file> <changelog|copyrigh>" (or
>    look for the changelog/copyright file in the directory extracted
>    with dpkg-deb -e <file>)

 "that programs" are also end-users, not?  Users expect the copyright
and changelog information to be readily available to them.  How do you
address their expectations?  Will they be in
/var/lib/dpkg/info/package.{changelog,copyright}, so a symlink could
help with that?

 Is there any other solution that would help the multiarch issue
instead?

 Did I miss a thread on debian-devel about this?

 Last thing: policy is about document current practises, not about
future possibilities.  Doesn't this bugreport come a bit early?

 Thanks,
Rhonda
-- 
Fühlst du dich mutlos, fass endlich Mut, los      |
Fühlst du dich hilflos, geh raus und hilf, los    | Wir sind Helden
Fühlst du dich machtlos, geh raus und mach, los   | 23.55: Alles auf Anfang
Fühlst du dich haltlos, such Halt und lass los    |




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 15:27:15 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 Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 15:27:17 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #15 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org>
To: Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>
Cc: 681289@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 08:22:35 -0700
Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org> writes:

> We should thus modify the policy to say:

> 1/ that the changelog and copyright files ought to be installed in the
>    DEBIAN directory along with the other control files

>    (this will require changes in dh_installdocs and dh_installchangelogs)

> 2/ that programs that want to retrieve the changelog and/or copyright file
>    of an installed package should try to use "dpkg-query --control-show <pkg>
>    <changelog|copyrigh>" and fall back to the usual path if that fails.

>    Those interfaces are available in wheezy's dpkg (>= 1.16.5).

> 3/ that programs that want to retrieve the changelog and/or copyright file
>    of a .deb file should use dpkg-deb -I <file> <changelog|copyrigh>" (or
>    look for the changelog/copyright file in the directory extracted
>    with dpkg-deb -e <file>)

Just a quick note: while we can certainly discuss this here, Policy cannot
change until any changes to dpkg required to support this (such as
unpacking those files in an appropriate place) is already implemented in a
version that's already in the archive, since I expect this to require
changes to dpkg (see below).  All packages that use this approach are
probably also going to need a dependency on an appropriate version of
dpkg.

> QUESTION: Shall we design some solution to ensure that
> /usr/share/doc/<pkg>/{changelog.Debian.gz,copyright} are kept during the
> transition period ?

At first glance, I think a major Debian upgrade is probably enough of a
break to not have to keep compatibility files in the old locations *if* we
track down the various tools in Debian and change them to use
dpkg-query/dpkg-deb by default and fall back on the other location.  I
could be too aggressive about this, though.

HOWEVER, I think putting those files in a clear place on the file system
so that they can be easily read via a pager by the end user without using
dpkg-query commands is not only mandatory for the transition period but
mandatory permanently.  I would expect dpkg to do this.  That location
could be in /var/lib/dpkg/copyright and /var/lib/dpkg/changelogs or some
similar place, however.  (And arch-qualified when needed, of course.)

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




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 16:03:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to "Thomas Preud'homme" <robotux@celest.fr>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 16:03:06 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #20 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: "Thomas Preud'homme" <robotux@celest.fr>
To: debian-policy@lists.debian.org, Gerfried Fuchs <rhonda@deb.at>, 681289@bugs.debian.org
Cc: Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 17:59:19 +0200
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
Le jeudi 12 juillet 2012 17:09:46, Gerfried Fuchs a écrit :

> 
>  Did I miss a thread on debian-devel about this?

There was a thread indeed. See this one:
http://lists.debian.org/debian-release/2012/06/msg00232.html

Best regards,

Thomas Preud'homme
[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 16:21:08 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Gerfried Fuchs <rhonda@deb.at>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 16:21:08 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #25 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Gerfried Fuchs <rhonda@deb.at>
To: Thomas Preud'homme <robotux@celest.fr>
Cc: debian-policy@lists.debian.org, 681289@bugs.debian.org, Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 18:16:45 +0200
* Thomas Preud'homme <robotux@celest.fr> [2012-07-12 17:59:19 CEST]:
> Le jeudi 12 juillet 2012 17:09:46, Gerfried Fuchs a écrit :
> >  Did I miss a thread on debian-devel about this?
> 
> There was a thread indeed. See this one:
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-release/2012/06/msg00232.html

 Well, that's debian-release, not debian-devel.  Thanks for the pointer
though!

 Enjoy,
Rhonda
-- 
Fühlst du dich mutlos, fass endlich Mut, los      |
Fühlst du dich hilflos, geh raus und hilf, los    | Wir sind Helden
Fühlst du dich machtlos, geh raus und mach, los   | 23.55: Alles auf Anfang
Fühlst du dich haltlos, such Halt und lass los    |




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 20:24:12 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Cyril Brulebois <kibi@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 20:24:13 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #30 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Cyril Brulebois <kibi@debian.org>
To: Gerfried Fuchs <rhonda@deb.at>
Cc: Thomas Preud'homme <robotux@celest.fr>, debian-policy@lists.debian.org, 681289@bugs.debian.org, Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 22:21:04 +0200
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
Hello,

Gerfried Fuchs <rhonda@deb.at> (12/07/2012):
>  Well, that's debian-release, not debian-devel.  Thanks for the pointer
> though!

dd@ and dr@ got most of those mails. I count 32 of them to dd@. (One can
see dd@ in To on the link Thomas gave.)

Mraw,
KiBi.
[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

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Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Fri, 13 Jul 2012 06:51:06 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>:
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Message #35 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>
To: Gerfried Fuchs <rhonda@deb.at>, 681289@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 08:48:18 +0200
On Thu, 12 Jul 2012, Gerfried Fuchs wrote:
>    Hi,
> 
> * Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org> [2012-07-12 08:46:03 CEST]:
> > Both the changelog and the copyright files are stored with a package's
> > normal data (within data.tar in the .deb) but they are really package
> > metadata (that should be part of control.tar in the .deb).
> 
>  Are they?  I consider them documentation and expect them be next to the
> documentation.

Documentation can be meta-data. It's the fact that those documentation are
produced by Debian that qualifies them as meta-data (control.tar) and
not upstream data (data.tar).

>  And without any more than that statement I'm not really buying that it
> really would be a benefit?

The benefit I was referring too is purely in terms of performance.
Extracting control.tar.gz is faster than extracting data.tar.gz because of
its smaller size (at least in most non-trivial packages).

> > 2/ that programs that want to retrieve the changelog and/or copyright file
> >    of an installed package should try to use "dpkg-query --control-show <pkg>
> >    <changelog|copyrigh>" and fall back to the usual path if that fails.
> > 
> >    Those interfaces are available in wheezy's dpkg (>= 1.16.5).
> 
>  So that would force services to upgrade to wheezy as soon as the first
> such package lands in unstable, right?

It depends. What services are you thinking of? I expecte that programs
trying to access changelog/copyright of installed packages are mostly
end-user programs (so the "services" qualification seems weird).

> > 3/ that programs that want to retrieve the changelog and/or copyright file
> >    of a .deb file should use dpkg-deb -I <file> <changelog|copyrigh>" (or
> >    look for the changelog/copyright file in the directory extracted
> >    with dpkg-deb -e <file>)
> 
>  "that programs" are also end-users, not?  Users expect the copyright
> and changelog information to be readily available to them.  How do you
> address their expectations?  Will they be in
> /var/lib/dpkg/info/package.{changelog,copyright}, so a symlink could
> help with that?

With the current implementation of dpkg, they will be there, yes.

But for end-users, I rather expect that we're going to create
"dpkg --changelog <pkg>" that does the right thing for them (and same for
--copyright).

>  Last thing: policy is about document current practises, not about
> future possibilities.  Doesn't this bugreport come a bit early?

Some changes just can't be implemented without global coordination and
buy-in. The policy (and its associated process) is a way to ensure both.

Cheers,
-- 
Raphaël Hertzog ◈ Debian Developer

Get the Debian Administrator's Handbook:
→ http://debian-handbook.info/get/




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Fri, 13 Jul 2012 07:03:06 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>:
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Message #40 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>
To: Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org>, 681289@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 09:00:59 +0200
On Thu, 12 Jul 2012, Russ Allbery wrote:
> HOWEVER, I think putting those files in a clear place on the file system
> so that they can be easily read via a pager by the end user without using
> dpkg-query commands is not only mandatory for the transition period but
> mandatory permanently.  I would expect dpkg to do this.  That location
> could be in /var/lib/dpkg/copyright and /var/lib/dpkg/changelogs or some
> similar place, however.  (And arch-qualified when needed, of course.)

The current version of dpkg would put them in
/var/lib/dpkg/info/<pkg>.{changelog,copyright} but we certainly don't want
end-users to rely on this.

Guillem introduced the --control-list and --control-show interfaces
precisely because we want a path and storage-agnostic way to access those
files. This enables us to change the way we store files in a more
efficient manner:
- we could compress the files with whatever compression method we want
- we could deduplicate identical files between multiple packages
  (copyright and changelog files within a source package tend to be identical)

If we want to keep the copyright/changelog files at their current location
(or in another official place), we should IMO create a new package that
will hook into dpkg --post-invoke and that would use dpkg-query
--control-show to retrieve those files and store them again where the user
wants (and conversely delete them during package removal).

BTW, dpkg-query --control-show already runs a pager if the output is a
terminal. In any case, I believe we should create dpkg --changelog
and dpkg --copyright as the canonical end-user interface.

Cheers,
-- 
Raphaël Hertzog ◈ Debian Developer

Get the Debian Administrator's Handbook:
→ http://debian-handbook.info/get/




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Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Fri, 13 Jul 2012 21:42:02 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #43 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Carsten Hey <carsten@debian.org>
To: 681289@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 23:29:48 +0200
* Raphael Hertzog [2012-07-13 09:00 +0200]:
> Guillem introduced the --control-list and --control-show interfaces …
>
> If … , we should IMO create a new package that will hook into dpkg
> --post-invoke and …
>
> … should create dpkg --changelog and dpkg --copyright …

[epoch:]upstream_version[-debian_revision][,build_number] instead of
[epoch:]upstream_version[-debian_revision] would also solve the
multi-arch issue that seems to be the main motivation for all this
indirection.


Regards
Carsten




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Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Sat, 14 Jul 2012 01:15:05 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org>:
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Message #48 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org>
To: 681289@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2012 10:04:48 +0900
Le Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 08:46:03AM +0200, Raphaël Hertzog a écrit :
> We should thus modify the policy to say:
> 
> 1/ that the changelog and copyright files ought to be installed in the
>    DEBIAN directory along with the other control files
> 
>    (this will require changes in dh_installdocs and dh_installchangelogs)
> 
> 2/ that programs that want to retrieve the changelog and/or copyright file
>    of an installed package should try to use "dpkg-query --control-show <pkg>
>    <changelog|copyrigh>" and fall back to the usual path if that fails.
> 
>    Those interfaces are available in wheezy's dpkg (>= 1.16.5).
> 
> 3/ that programs that want to retrieve the changelog and/or copyright file
>    of a .deb file should use dpkg-deb -I <file> <changelog|copyrigh>" (or
>    look for the changelog/copyright file in the directory extracted
>    with dpkg-deb -e <file>)

For the record, I have started a related discussion on debian-devel.

http://lists.debian.org/msgid-search/20120714004835.GB8323@falafel.plessy.net

-- 
Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan




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Acknowledgement sent to Guillem Jover <guillem@debian.org>:
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Message #53 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Guillem Jover <guillem@debian.org>
To: Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>, 681289@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2012 09:32:32 +0200
On Fri, 2012-07-13 at 09:00:59 +0200, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> In any case, I believe we should create dpkg --changelog
> and dpkg --copyright as the canonical end-user interface.

I've mentioned this several times now, I've something similar to that
alreadyd implemented locally. I just didn't include them in dpkg 1.16.5
because:

  1) it could be perceived as forcing the proposal as a done deal.
  2) they could become unused cruft if the project rejected the
     proposal.
  3) depending on the amount of files to transition to meta-data,
     adding a new option per file might not scale.

guillem




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Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Sat, 14 Jul 2012 07:45:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Guillem Jover <guillem@debian.org>:
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Message #58 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Guillem Jover <guillem@debian.org>
To: Carsten Hey <carsten@debian.org>, 681289@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2012 09:35:06 +0200
On Fri, 2012-07-13 at 23:29:48 +0200, Carsten Hey wrote:
> * Raphael Hertzog [2012-07-13 09:00 +0200]:
> > Guillem introduced the --control-list and --control-show interfaces …
> >
> > If … , we should IMO create a new package that will hook into dpkg
> > --post-invoke and …
> >
> > … should create dpkg --changelog and dpkg --copyright …
> 
> [epoch:]upstream_version[-debian_revision][,build_number] instead of
> [epoch:]upstream_version[-debian_revision] would also solve the
> multi-arch issue that seems to be the main motivation for all this
> indirection.

You might need to exand on that, because I don't see how that would
help at all?

Also although my initial motivation was to solve the binNMU+multiarch
case, I consider it now it's a worthwhile change by itself, regardless
of how the binNMU+multiarch problem ends up being solved.

regards,
guillem




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Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Sat, 14 Jul 2012 08:03:03 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 Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. (Sat, 14 Jul 2012 08:03:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #63 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org>
To: 681289@bugs.debian.org, Carsten Hey <carsten@debian.org>
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2012 00:52:03 -0700
Guillem Jover <guillem@debian.org> writes:

> Also although my initial motivation was to solve the binNMU+multiarch
> case, I consider it now it's a worthwhile change by itself, regardless
> of how the binNMU+multiarch problem ends up being solved.

I'm inclined to agree, particularly with an eye to the whole doc directory
issue for which we have multiple open Policy bugs.  The main reason why we
don't currently link the doc directories of many of our packages together,
which would often be better for our users and less confusing, is because
we can't link between arch:any and arch:all packages or risk having
different versions installed because we could get the wrong changelog and
copyright files.  This would solve that problem nicely.

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




Added indication that bug 681289 blocks 684625 Request was from Jonathan Nieder <jrnieder@gmail.com> to control@bugs.debian.org. (Sun, 12 Aug 2012 02:27:07 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Changed Bug title to 'changelog and copyright should be package metadata' from 'debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata' Request was from Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> to control@bugs.debian.org. (Sun, 12 Aug 2012 18:30:14 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Sun, 12 May 2013 19:06:14 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Cyril Brulebois <kibi@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. (Sun, 12 May 2013 19:06:14 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #72 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Cyril Brulebois <kibi@debian.org>
To: Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org>, 681289@bugs.debian.org
Cc: 684625@bugs.debian.org, debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Sun, 12 May 2013 21:05:49 +0200
[Message part 1 (text/plain, inline)]
Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org> (12/07/2012):
> Additionnaly it also solves a problem that we have with multi-arch
> same packages and bin-nmu. Such a bin-nmu means that the changelog
> on the bin-nmued architecture will be different from the other
> arches and the package is thus no longer co-installable.

When do we get a version of dpkg that is able to co-install binNMU'd
packages? Given jessie's development cycle is open, and given the
amount of transitions, it would be nice to have ASAP.

Mraw,
KiBi.
[signature.asc (application/pgp-signature, inline)]

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Mon, 13 May 2013 10:12:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Ansgar Burchardt <ansgar@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. (Mon, 13 May 2013 10:12:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #77 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Ansgar Burchardt <ansgar@debian.org>
To: 681289@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#681289: debian-policy: Changelog and copyright should be package metadata
Date: Mon, 13 May 2013 12:09:02 +0200
Hi,

Raphaël Hertzog writes:
> We should thus modify the policy to say:
> [...]
> 3/ that programs that want to retrieve the changelog and/or copyright
>    file of a .deb file should use dpkg-deb -I <file>
>    <changelog|copyrigh>" (or look for the changelog/copyright file in
>    the directory extracted with dpkg-deb -e <file>)

Please don't require the use of a command-line utility to inspect binary
packages. The location can be specified and you can recommend using
dpkg-deb, but libraries such as python-apt could (should?) implement
this themselves and not need to fork an external program.

Currently one can exclude changelog and copyright files from being
installed entirely. Will this feature remain available?

Ansgar



Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#681289; Package debian-policy. (Mon, 13 May 2013 21:03:09 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Ansgar Burchardt <ansgar@debian.org>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. (Mon, 13 May 2013 21:03:09 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #82 received at 681289@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Ansgar Burchardt <ansgar@debian.org>
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Cc: debian-dpkg@lists.debian.org, 681289@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Temporary solution for changelog problem in binNMUs
Date: Mon, 13 May 2013 23:00:51 +0200
Hi,

[ dropped -release and -wb-team, added 681289@bugs.d.o ]

Guillem Jover <guillem@debian.org> writes:
> On Mon, 2013-05-13 at 17:04:51 +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
>> The real problem is that these changelog files are primarily intended
>> for human beings.  They should live in /usr/share/doc, and their
>> location should be transparent.
>
> The fact that parts of it might be mostly consumable by human beings,
> does not counter that fact that those files are still very structured
> packaging metadata, and those really do not belong in /usr/share/doc.
>
> For example changelogs, contain version and release dates, bug closures,
> urgency and target distribution, uploader, etc. The same goes for machine
> parseable copyright (although I'm not a proponent and I've not switched
> any of my packages to it), can be consumed by humans, but a huge part
> of it is also meant for programs.

The part of the changelog that is targeted at programs is mostly
extracted from the source package at build time or from the changes file
by the archive. The changelog copy in the binary packages is just
documentation for humans.

In particular the target distribution and version aren't true: they
don't match the actual distribution (Ubuntu has "unstable" for all
synced packaged, but no "unstable" suite) nor the actual version (gcc
has the source version here which differs from the binary version;
binNMUs have the binary version there which differs from the source
version). That's okay for documentation, but probably not if one wants
to understand it as metadata.

Should other structured package metadata also be included in the
control part? What about NEWS.Debian (IMO more interesting than
changelog for most users), lintian overrides or scripts for use by
reportbug (/usr/share/bug)? If you want users to access the changelog
via dpkg as looking in /usr/share/doc might be too distribution
specific[1], that's surely also true for NEWS.Debian?

  [1] <https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2012/06/msg00410.html>

You mentioned that only machine-parsable copyright should be dpkg
metadata in [2]? That seems more complicated that treating it always
as documentation.

  [2] <https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2012/06/msg00314.html>

Will dpkg continue to support not installing changelogs and other files
you plan to move from doc/ to control? One can exclude everything in
/usr/share/doc if one doesn't want to have it.

Will it still be possible to ship symlinks for the changelog or
copyright file? We have some packages where those are quire large and
one might not want to include them in every binary package.

I don't think that control.tar.* should include files besides those that
are needed by dpkg to manage the packages. That certainly doesn't
include the changelog.

So I don't think we actually gain anything from moving the files to the
control tarball. It just looks like a more invasive change...

Ansgar



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