Debian Bug report logs - #90989
[RETRACTED] making all control fields multi-line

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: Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net>

Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2001 23:18:02 UTC

Severity: wishlist

Done: Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net>

Bug is archived. No further changes may be made.

Toggle useless messages

View this report as an mbox folder, status mbox, maintainer mbox


Report forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#90989; Package debian-policy. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net>:
New Bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

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

From: Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net>
To: submit@bugs.debian.org
Subject: [proposal] making all control fields multi-line
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001 00:10:56 +0100
Package: debian-policy
Version: 3.5.2
Severity: wishlist

Summary:
All tools reading fields in debian/control should expect them to grow to
multiple line (this topic has been discussed a bit a week ago in -policy).

Technical reasoning:
The current policy specifies (3.1) that "Except where otherwise stated only
a single line of data is allowed (...)" ; it then fails to mention any
multiple line field besides Description.
Dependencies and Build-Dependencies can be quite long, which means either 
using a lot of horizontal scrolling, or violating the policy (since lintian
checks for single-lineness of some fields but not those, and dpkg is happy
with that, and the buildds too, it's easy to forget that it's not allowed).

It would make sense to allow the relationship fields to be multi-line;
however, doing so for some fields but not all fields require the tools to
either maintain a list of fields for which such values are allowed, or allow
all fields to be multi-line anyway (even when that doesn't make sense). 

Requiring tools to accept multi-line values everywhere should help keeping
them simpler (actually, a lot of them already seem to do this, anyway).

Issues: 
allowing multiple lines in control fields breaks the use of grep ; however,
grep-dctrl exists to alleviate this problem.

Proposed changes:
[in section 3.1, Syntax of control fields]

-Some fields' values may span several lines; in this case each continuation
-line must start with a space or tab. Any trailing spaces or tabs at the end
-of individual lines of a field value are ignored.
-
-Except where otherwise stated only a single line of data is allowed and
-whitespace is not significant in a field body. 
+All fields' values may span several lines, even when the usual range of
+values does not require more than one line. If a field value has to span
+several lines, each continuation line must start with a space or tab. Any
+trailing spaces or tabs at the end of individual lines of a field value are
+ignored. Use of individual lines longer than 72 characters is discouraged.
+
+Except where otherwise stated, whitespace is not significant in a field
+body.

Note: lintian currently doesn't catch multi-line relationship fields. I'm
submitting an opposite report against it.

Comments ?

	-- Cyrille
-- 
Grumpf.


-- 
Grumpf.




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#90989; Package debian-policy. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Wichert Akkerman <wichert@valinux.com>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #10 received at 90989@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Wichert Akkerman <wichert@valinux.com>
To: Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net>, 90989@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#90989: [proposal] making all control fields multi-line
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001 01:49:23 +0100
Previously Cyrille Chepelov wrote:
> Dependencies and Build-Dependencies can be quite long, which means either 
> using a lot of horizontal scrolling, or violating the policy (since lintian
> checks for single-lineness of some fields but not those, and dpkg is happy
> with that, and the buildds too, it's easy to forget that it's not allowed).

This is a completely bogus argument: all fields are logically one line,
although they can be split over multiple lines in transport. Please read
RFC822 for all the details.

Frontends shouldn't force one to do horizontal scrolling, they should
do proper wrapping of the data when displaying it.

> It would make sense to allow the relationship fields to be multi-line;

It would make sense only since we use RFC822 syntax, which allows for
fields to be split over multiple lines.

> Requiring tools to accept multi-line values everywhere should help keeping
> them simpler (actually, a lot of them already seem to do this, anyway).

This should be through due to the simple guideline `be strict in what you
output, but liberal in what you accept'. 

> Proposed changes:
> [in section 3.1, Syntax of control fields]

Please always submit proposed changes as a diff to the sgml text.

Wichert.

-- 
   ________________________________________________________________
 / Generally uninteresting signature - ignore at your convenience  \
| wichert@cistron.nl                  http://www.liacs.nl/~wichert/ |
| 1024D/2FA3BC2D 576E 100B 518D 2F16 36B0  2805 3CB8 9250 2FA3 BC2D |



Bug reassigned from package `debian-policy' to `debian-policy'. Request was from Sean 'Shaleh' Perry <shaleh@valinux.com> to control@bugs.debian.org. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#90989; Package debian-policy. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #17 received at 90989@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net>
To: Wichert Akkerman <wichert@valinux.com>, 90989@bugs.debian.org
Cc: Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net>
Subject: Re: Bug#90989: proposal] making all control fields multi-line
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001 10:36:45 +0200
Le dim, mar 25, 2001, à 01:49:23 +0100, Wichert Akkerman a écrit:

> Frontends shouldn't force one to do horizontal scrolling, they should
> do proper wrapping of the data when displaying it.

Actually, I wasn't that concerned with the display side (which is already
well handled), but about the writing side. Oh, well "tame your $EDITOR and
don't pollute -policy".

> > It would make sense to allow the relationship fields to be multi-line;
> 
> It would make sense only since we use RFC822 syntax, which allows for
> fields to be split over multiple lines.

... having different behaviour on different fields (on the transport part of
handling the control file), at least on the specification side, makes tools
either more complex or more liberal than necessary.

> > Requiring tools to accept multi-line values everywhere should help keeping
> > them simpler (actually, a lot of them already seem to do this, anyway).
> 
> This should be through due to the simple guideline `be strict in what you
> output, but liberal in what you accept'. 

Yes ; but lintian failing to enforce that on some fields (but not all)
confused me a bit... since there's not yet a publicly accessible, clear an
authoritative list of which fields can have what variation of syntax, I
can't blame it (but submitted #90992 nonetheless).

> Please always submit proposed changes as a diff to the sgml text.

Hmmm... yes. Will rewrite this in the suitable format (should a positive
consensus happen.. ahem.)

	-- Cyrille

-- 
Grumpf.




Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#90989; Package debian-policy. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho <gaia@iki.fi>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #22 received at 90989@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho <gaia@iki.fi>
To: Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net>, 90989@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#90989: [proposal] making all control fields multi-line
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001 17:46:23 +0300
On 20010325T001056+0100, Cyrille Chepelov wrote:
> Issues: 
> allowing multiple lines in control fields breaks the use of grep ; however,
> grep-dctrl exists to alleviate this problem.

It is my understanding that this breaks sbuild too.

-- 
%%% Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho % gaia@iki.fi % http://www.iki.fi/gaia/ %%%



Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#90989; Package debian-policy. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Julian Gilbey <J.D.Gilbey@qmw.ac.uk>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #27 received at 90989@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Julian Gilbey <J.D.Gilbey@qmw.ac.uk>
To: Wichert Akkerman <wichert@valinux.com>, 90989@bugs.debian.org
Cc: Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net>
Subject: Re: Bug#90989: proposal] making all control fields multi-line
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 11:17:07 +0100
On Sun, Mar 25, 2001 at 01:49:23AM +0100, Wichert Akkerman wrote:
> > Proposed changes:
> > [in section 3.1, Syntax of control fields]
> 
> Please always submit proposed changes as a diff to the sgml text.

Why?  It's easier for me, yes, but I wouldn't expect everyone to do
it, and it does make the change harder to read.

   Julian

-- 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

         Julian Gilbey, Dept of Maths, Queen Mary, Univ. of London
       Debian GNU/Linux Developer,  see http://people.debian.org/~jdg
  Donate free food to the world's hungry: see http://www.thehungersite.com/



Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#90989; Package debian-policy. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Julian Gilbey <J.D.Gilbey@qmw.ac.uk>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #32 received at 90989@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Julian Gilbey <J.D.Gilbey@qmw.ac.uk>
To: Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net>, 90989@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Bug#90989: [proposal] making all control fields multi-line
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 11:20:22 +0100
On Sun, Mar 25, 2001 at 12:10:56AM +0100, Cyrille Chepelov wrote:
> Requiring tools to accept multi-line values everywhere should help keeping
> them simpler (actually, a lot of them already seem to do this, anyway).

Before we make this policy, can we ensure that all significant
packages which parse control files can all cope with this change.  (I
guess that would include dpkg, apt, lintian, any others?)

Then we must make sure that at least one release passes before
packages can make use of any changed behaviour.

Wichert: what is the status of dpkg wrt multi-line control fields?
Has it always been able to cope with this for all fields?  dpkg-dev
may be a different story, but is much less important in this regard.

   Julian

-- 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

         Julian Gilbey, Dept of Maths, Queen Mary, Univ. of London
       Debian GNU/Linux Developer,  see http://people.debian.org/~jdg
  Donate free food to the world's hungry: see http://www.thehungersite.com/



Changed Bug title. Request was from Julian Gilbey <J.D.Gilbey@qmw.ac.uk> to control@bugs.debian.org. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Changed Bug title. Request was from Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net> to control@bugs.debian.org. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Tags added: Request was from Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net> to control@bugs.debian.org. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Bug closed, send any further explanations to Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net> Request was from Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net> to control@bugs.debian.org. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Information forwarded to debian-bugs-dist@lists.debian.org, Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>:
Bug#90989; Package debian-policy. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Acknowledgement sent to Julian Gilbey <J.D.Gilbey@qmw.ac.uk>:
Extra info received and forwarded to list. Copy sent to Debian Policy List <debian-policy@lists.debian.org>. Full text and rfc822 format available.

Message #45 received at 90989@bugs.debian.org (full text, mbox):

From: Julian Gilbey <J.D.Gilbey@qmw.ac.uk>
To: Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net>, 90989@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Re: Processed: drop #90989
Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2001 23:38:17 +0100
On Sun, Apr 15, 2001 at 05:03:30AM -0500, Debian Bug Tracking System wrote:
> > retitle 90989 [RETRACTED] making all control fields multi-line
> Bug#90989: [PROPOSAL] making all control fields multi-line
> Changed Bug title.

Any reason you retracted this?  It seems an eminently sensible thing
to do.

   Julian

-- 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

         Julian Gilbey, Dept of Maths, Queen Mary, Univ. of London
       Debian GNU/Linux Developer,  see http://people.debian.org/~jdg
  Donate free food to the world's hungry: see http://www.thehungersite.com/



Send a report that this bug log contains spam.


Debian bug tracking system administrator <owner@bugs.debian.org>. Last modified: Fri Apr 18 19:24:49 2014; Machine Name: buxtehude.debian.org

Debian Bug tracking system
Copyright (C) 1999 Darren O. Benham, 1997,2003 nCipher Corporation Ltd, 1994-97 Ian Jackson.