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Charles Plessy 05-27-2010 05:05 AM

Meaning of the different “format” fields and files.
 
Dear all,

I am getting confused by the different meanings of the Format fields and the
format file in the Debian source packages and their accompanying files.

[In the paragraphs below, I name the files according to Policy 3.8.4 §5]

* In Debian changes files, Format is currently 1.8; I suppose that it
defines the meaning and syntax of the other fields. Is there a place were the
history of this file format is defined? Is it a general format number for what
we call the “pseudo RFC-822”, “paragraph”, or “stanza” format?

* In the Debian source control files, Format is 1.0 or 3.0 (variant). This
defines the format of the source package. Is the format of the Debian source control
file itself tied to the format of the source package, or is it independant as for
the changes files?

* A Format field in source package control files used to determine
the Format field of the Debian source control files, but in the latest
Policy, this field is not listed in §5.2, that defines source package control files.
However, other fields, like the VCS-* fields are not listed there, so it
does not mean that the Format field is disallowed. Nevertheless it seems to be
deprecated. Should the policy be updated to reflect this?

* §5.6.16 specifies a value of 1.5 for all Format fields. Is it a source package format
version or a “pseudo RFC-822” format version. If yes should this number be updated to 1.8,
or even to 1.9 to reflect that the Format field is deprecated in source package
control files?

* Lastly, there is the new debian/source configuration directory, that is used
by the latest dpkg-dev, but also by lintian. Is the structure of this directory
described somewhere? Is it versionned?

Needless to say, I volunteer to send a patch to the Policy that will summarise
the answers to this email.

Have a nice day,

--
Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan


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Raphael Hertzog 05-28-2010 06:25 AM

Meaning of the different “format” fields and files.
 
On Thu, 27 May 2010, Charles Plessy wrote:
> * In Debian changes files, Format is currently 1.8; I suppose that it
> defines the meaning and syntax of the other fields. Is there a place were the
> history of this file format is defined? Is it a general format number for what
> we call the “pseudo RFC-822”, “paragraph”, or “stanza” format?
>
> * In the Debian source control files, Format is 1.0 or 3.0 (variant). This
> defines the format of the source package. Is the format of the Debian source control
> file itself tied to the format of the source package, or is it independant as for
> the changes files?
>
> * §5.6.16 specifies a value of 1.5 for all Format fields. Is it a source package format
> version or a “pseudo RFC-822” format version. If yes should this number be updated to 1.8,
> or even to 1.9 to reflect that the Format field is deprecated in source package
> control files?
>

Answer to those questions in
http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=547272

> * A Format field in source package control files used to determine
> the Format field of the Debian source control files, but in the latest
> Policy, this field is not listed in §5.2, that defines source package control files.
> However, other fields, like the VCS-* fields are not listed there, so it
> does not mean that the Format field is disallowed. Nevertheless it seems to be
> deprecated. Should the policy be updated to reflect this?

You mean updated to say that the Format: field has no place in debian/control?

I don't think we have to say where it's not allowed, only what the proper
place is for the given information.

> * Lastly, there is the new debian/source configuration directory, that is used
> by the latest dpkg-dev, but also by lintian. Is the structure of this directory
> described somewhere? Is it versionned?

That directory is not covered by a global version number. Individual tools
putting/using files there are responsible of the format of the files and
their evolution. It's mainly dpkg-source though as the name suggests.

As usual, it's a good idea to prefix filenames if you're going to create
new files that reside there (some *-buildpackage tools might want to use
it) to avoid namespace collisions.

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/


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Charles Plessy 05-29-2010 04:56 AM

Meaning of the different “format” fields and files.
 
Le Fri, May 28, 2010 at 08:25:25AM +0200, Raphael Hertzog a écrit :
> On Thu, 27 May 2010, Charles Plessy wrote:
> > * In Debian changes files, Format is currently 1.8; I suppose that it
> > defines the meaning and syntax of the other fields. Is there a place were the
> > history of this file format is defined? Is it a general format number for what
> > we call the “pseudo RFC-822”, “paragraph”, or “stanza” format?
> >
> > * In the Debian source control files, Format is 1.0 or 3.0 (variant). This
> > defines the format of the source package. Is the format of the Debian source control
> > file itself tied to the format of the source package, or is it independant as for
> > the changes files?
> >
> > * §5.6.16 specifies a value of 1.5 for all Format fields. Is it a source package format
> > version or a “pseudo RFC-822” format version. If yes should this number be updated to 1.8,
> > or even to 1.9 to reflect that the Format field is deprecated in source package
> > control files?
> >
>
> Answer to those questions in
> http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=547272

Thanks for the pointer. I sent a patch for the Policy to this bug report. I
agree with the comment of Manoj in message #15 that the Format field of the
Debian source control files would have better been called Src-Format or
something similar. Do you think that there is a chance to correct this in the
future?

The patch I sent indicates the meaning of the Format field for the Debian
change files and source control files, and brings the Policy up to date with
the format 1.8 for Debian changes files. I did not address the meaning of the
Format field in source package control files, because I do not understand why
the debian/source/format file was introduced to replace the use of that field.

Have a nice week-end,

--
Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan


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Raphael Hertzog 05-30-2010 08:08 AM

Meaning of the different “format” fields and files.
 
On Sat, 29 May 2010, Charles Plessy wrote:
> Thanks for the pointer. I sent a patch for the Policy to this bug report. I
> agree with the comment of Manoj in message #15 that the Format field of the
> Debian source control files would have better been called Src-Format or
> something similar. Do you think that there is a chance to correct this in the
> future?

It's unlikely, it's a complication with no clear benefit.

> The patch I sent indicates the meaning of the Format field for the Debian
> change files and source control files, and brings the Policy up to date with
> the format 1.8 for Debian changes files. I did not address the meaning of the
> Format field in source package control files, because I do not understand why
> the debian/source/format file was introduced to replace the use of that field.

It's not replaced... the field is still here in the .dsc, but its content
is generated by dpkg-source (and the source format specific part) based on
debian/source/format or the --format command-line option.

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/


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