Your message dated Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:44:51 -0700
with message-id <>
and subject line Closing inactive Policy bugs
has caused the Debian Bug report #832654,
regarding debian-policy: 3.5 Dependencies possibly not detailed enough (about 
versioning etc.)
to be marked as done.

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Package: debian-policy
Severity: wishlist


I just filed #832650
(insufficient Depends of systemd 230-7),
and also had
several similar package issues
reported in earlier times.

I just realized that
debian-policy section "3.5 Dependencies"
perhaps is insufficiently worded:

It does not mention e.g. "versioning" of a dependency
(this may be intentional after all,
since this section may want to be
a more general, short/concise statement
that dependencies simply need to be "correct",
regardless of whether this then applies to
specific dependency information stuff
such as version values, etc.).
One additional aspect here
(which may also need mentioning via explaining)
is the question of
whether (or: how strongly)
reliability of these dependency requirements
also apply to
the use case of
inter-distro-version upgrading
(i.e., upgrading from a rather old distro base).

A key phrase which may be missing from that section
(especially near
"Every package must specify the dependency information")
"require a sufficiently fully qualified dependency",
to "always guarantee successful operation of the depender
after installation or upgrades".

Worded differently, perhaps a good form is
"require dependencies stated in
sufficiently fully precisely qualified information form
(package name, version level, etc.),
to achieve
always guaranteeing successful operation of the depender
after whichever installation or upgrade occurs".
[or "after any installation or upgrade"]

Policy demands here
ought to be clarified a bit I believe
(without this section then ending up overly verbose, of course),
in order to achieve
maximally precisely stating
what is or is not the requirement that
package maintenance efforts
are expected to meet.


Andreas Mohr

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control: user
control: usertag -1 +obsolete
control: tag -1 +wontfix

Russ Allbery and I did a round of in-person bug triage at DebConf17 and
we are closing this bug as inactive.

The reasons for closing fall into the following categories, from most
frequent to least frequent:

- issue is appropriate for Policy, there is a consensus on how to fix
  the problem, but preparing the patch is very time-consuming and no-one
  has volunteered to do it, and we do not judge the issue to be
  important enough to keep an open bug around;

- issue is appropriate for Policy but there does not yet exist a
  consensus on what should change, and no recent discussion.  A fresh
  discussion might allow us to reach consensus, and the messages in the
  old bug are unlikely to help very much; or

- issue is not appropriate for Policy.

If you feel this bug is still relevant and want to restart the
discussion, you can re-open the bug.  However, please consider instead
opening a new bug with a message that summarises and condenses the
previous discussion, updates the report for the current state of Debian,
and makes clear exactly what you think should change.

A lot of these old bugs have long side tangents and numerous messages,
and that old discussion is not necessarily helpful for figuring out what
Debian Policy should say today.

Sean Whitton

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