Debian Bug report logs - #686143
debian-policy: FHS requirements on "essential" binaries cannot be well, defined at distro level

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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: Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com>

Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 04:15:02 UTC

Severity: wishlist

Found in version debian-policy/3.9.1.0

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Report forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#686143; Package debian-policy. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 04:15:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com>:
New Bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 04:15:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

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

From: Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com>
To: submit@bugs.debian.org
Subject: debian-policy: FHS requirements on "essential" binaries cannot be well, defined at distro level
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 00:11:16 -0400
Package: debian-policy
Version: 3.9.1.0
Severity: normal
Tags: patch

Proposed additional bullet point to 9.1.1 regarding Debian exceptions to
FHS:

* The FHS language of "essential" vs. "non-essential" binaries and
libraries is
local system dependent, and cannot be well defined at the distribution
level in
a way which would be correct for all Debian installation configurations.
Disagreements about whether a file belongs in root (/bin, /sbin, /lib)
versus
/usr will be resolved by consensus. Ultimately it is the responsibility
of the
maintainer of each Debian installation to ensure that the libraries and
binaries
that are essential for their system are available from the root partition.


P.S. Should a library or binary file qualify for FHS "essential"
placement only if
its Debian package is marked "Essential"?


-- System Information:
Debian Release: 6.0.5
  APT prefers stable
  APT policy: (700, 'stable'), (500, 'stable-updates')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)

Kernel: Linux 3.2.0-0.bpo.3-amd64 (SMP w/8 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=en_US.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash

debian-policy depends on no packages.

debian-policy recommends no packages.

Versions of packages debian-policy suggests:
pn  doc-base                      <none>     (no description available)

-- no debconf information




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#686143; Package debian-policy. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 04:27:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 04:27:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #10 received at 686143@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com>
To: 686143@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Would close #652011
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 00:24:03 -0400
  Some addition to Debian policy such as the one suggested here would,
in my opinion, close bug #652011 which I filed in December.

-Zach



Removed tag(s) patch. Request was from Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> to control@bugs.debian.org. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 04:33:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Severity set to 'wishlist' from 'normal' Request was from Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> to control@bugs.debian.org. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 04:33:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Merged 652011 686143 Request was from Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> to control@bugs.debian.org. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 04:33:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Disconnected #652011 from all other report(s). Request was from Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> to control@bugs.debian.org. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 05:45:05 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#686143; Package debian-policy. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 13:18:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 13:18:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #23 received at 686143@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com>
To: 686143@bugs.debian.org, rra@debian.org
Subject: debian-policy: FHS requirements on "essential" binaries cannot be well defined at distro level
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 09:16:12 -0400
  Under #652011, presumably with reference to my proposed addition to
policy here, Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> wrote:
> Policy already says what you want it to say currently,
  Where? If policy is already clear on this, then this bug should be
closed rather than wishlisted. On the other hand, if policy is not clear
on this, then it should be made clear, and this present bug is more than
wishlist until that is done.
  I don't think this proposal has to be a highly debated controversy.
I'm just proposing to document the status quo. The question of whether
or not there will be motivation to change the status quo in the future
can be left entirely open, but in the mean time it should be universally
agreeable to have the status quo clearly documented. And it only
requires a couple sentences in the right place in policy for that to be
accomplished.

-Zach




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#686143; Package debian-policy. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 17:45:04 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>. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 17:45:04 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #28 received at 686143@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org>
To: Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com>
Cc: 686143@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: debian-policy: FHS requirements on "essential" binaries cannot be well defined at distro level
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 10:41:25 -0700
Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com> writes:

>   Under #652011, presumably with reference to my proposed addition to
> policy here, Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> wrote:

>> Policy already says what you want it to say currently,

>   Where? If policy is already clear on this, then this bug should be
> closed rather than wishlisted. On the other hand, if policy is not clear
> on this, then it should be made clear, and this present bug is more than
> wishlist until that is done.

No, no, what I meant was, in regard to your bug against general, Policy
already says that packages have to follow the FHS, which includes the /bin
vs. /usr/bin split.

What happened was that your previous bug to general, after sparking a
bunch of discussion about whether the /bin vs. /usr/bin split was useful,
got reassigned to debian-policy presumably to continue the discussion
about discarding the split.  That wasn't your original point at all, but
that was what sparked the change in bug title.  However, that isn't a
discussion that anyone is currently pursuing, and I don't think that
leaving the bug open to talk about whether we should undo that split is
helping anyone.

Your original problem, that there are packages with binaries in /bin that
use libraries in /usr/lib, is unsolved, but is also unaddressable within
Debian in the form of a bug against general.  This isn't a problem with
your methodology so much as a problem with Debian, but realistically bugs
against general almost never result in any concrete action.  That's why
folks like Holger try to reassign them to other packages where there's
some hope that someone will address them.

Right now, Policy says that packages have to follow the FHS, which
includes the /bin vs. /usr/bin split, and packages that have handled that
split incorrectly are buggy.  That, at least in my opinion, justifies bugs
against any package that anyone uncovers that has that problem, and
personally I think maintainers should fix them (although whether with a
sufficiently high priority to warrant new uploads during release freeze is
debatable and probably depends on how complex the change is).

It was only that bug, the bug you originally filed against general, that I
closed, on the grounds that while it's a valid bug, it would need to get
split up into bugs against each package that is doing the wrong thing to
really get addressed.

Your recent wording suggestion is separate from that, and I disconnected
it and left it open against debian-policy.  I've not looked at it in
detail, but I've tagged it as already having a concrete wording change
proposal, so it's marked as fairly far along in our review process to help
me notice that it's there as I do further Policy work.

Sorry that this is so confusing!

-- 
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#686143; Package debian-policy. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 19:03:08 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Jonathan Nieder <jrnieder@gmail.com>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. (Wed, 29 Aug 2012 19:03:08 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #33 received at 686143@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Jonathan Nieder <jrnieder@gmail.com>
To: Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org>
Cc: 686143@bugs.debian.org, Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: FHS requirements on "essential" binaries cannot be well defined at distro level
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 11:59:35 -0700
Hi,

Russ Allbery wrote:

> Your original problem, that there are packages with binaries in /bin that
> use libraries in /usr/lib, is unsolved, but is also unaddressable within
> Debian in the form of a bug against general.  This isn't a problem with
> your methodology so much as a problem with Debian, but realistically bugs
> against general almost never result in any concrete action.

In theory an appropriate resolution would be:

 1) an interested person writes a script to detect the problem (already
    done, I think) and runs it against packages in the lintian lab
    (not done?)

 2) after a quick discussion about appropriate severity, bugs are filed
    against the affected packages

 3) the bug against "general" is marked as blocked by those bugs and
    used to track work writing e.g. a lintian check (well, that wouldn't
    work here --- maybe a piuparts check or something?) to make sure
    the problem doesn't regress in the future.

Of course that's only theory.

My two cents,
Jonathan



Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#686143; Package debian-policy. (Thu, 30 Aug 2012 02:48:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. (Thu, 30 Aug 2012 02:48:03 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #38 received at 686143@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com>
To: 686143@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: debian-policy: FHS requirements on "essential" binaries cannot be well defined at distro level
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 22:44:43 -0400
Russ,

  OK, I'm tracking with you now. I'm sorry for my own misunderstanding.
I was getting the impression that my request to document the
"non-compliant status quo" was going to be relegated to a "wish" that
would most likely be utterly ignored, and that didn't seem right. Having
open issues, but with clear documentation, is the name of the game.

-Zach




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#686143; Package debian-policy. (Thu, 30 Aug 2012 03:09:05 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, 30 Aug 2012 03:09:05 GMT) Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #43 received at 686143@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org>
To: Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com>
Cc: 686143@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#686143: debian-policy: FHS requirements on "essential" binaries cannot be well defined at distro level
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 20:05:35 -0700
Zachary Harris <zacharyharris@hotmail.com> writes:

>   OK, I'm tracking with you now. I'm sorry for my own misunderstanding.
> I was getting the impression that my request to document the
> "non-compliant status quo" was going to be relegated to a "wish" that
> would most likely be utterly ignored, and that didn't seem right. Having
> open issues, but with clear documentation, is the name of the game.

Ah, no.  It's just that anything that represents a change in the existing
documented practice uses a wishlist severity for Policy since the higher
severity are reserved for places where what Policy says is contradictory,
deceptive, or simply wrong.  That's not the case here; the clarification
that you're proposing is effectively a weakening of something that Policy
(sort of implicitly) tells one to do right now.

Anyway, order of processing of bugs only very vaguely follows severity
levels.

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



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