where to maintain DEP8^W autopkgtest spec now

Antonio Terceiro terceiro at debian.org
Wed Jul 23 20:59:14 UTC 2014

On Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 12:26:46PM +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 12:00:04PM +0200, Martin Pitt wrote:
> > some two weeks ago I committed [1] to adjust the spec location in
> > http://dep.debian.net/deps/dep8/ but today this still hasn't been
> > updated. Apparently this doesn't happen automatically; could you
> > please poke this to use the current svn version?
> Hi Martin, I'll leave the answer to this specific question to Charles,
> because I think he is the one who is most up to date with the dep.d.n
> setup.
> However, your mail gives me a change to raise a subject I've wanted to
> discuss with you since a while: where should the autopkgtest spec be
> maintained now?
> I think DEP8 should be moved to "ACCEPTED" state: it is implemented, by
> multiple tools even, and its actual usage is gaining throughout the
> archive.
> As DEP's are *not* meant to be evolving (see for instance
> http://dep.debian.net/deps/dep5/ and the disclaimer at the beginning of
> it), but given that specifications do need to evolve overtime, the
> question is where the spec should be maintained. I think we should
> answer this question before making further changes to DEP8 itself. In
> fact, I think the only further change we should make to DEP8 is move it
> to ACCEPTED, and point to the final place where the autopkgtest spec
> will be maintained.
> To me, the most reasonable place to maintain it seems to be the
> debian-policy package. Of course *not* as part of the official Debian
> Policy Manual, but rather as an auxiliary policy (e.g., the Debian Perl
> Policy). I'm getting debian-policy at lists.d.o in the loop to check if
> that would be fine with them.
> FWIW, I do not think that maintaining the spec in the autopkgtest
> package itself is a good idea, because the spec has clearly outgrown the
> specific implementation called autopkgtest, and coordinating changes in
> a more neutral place would be preferable, IMO.
> What do other autopkgtest-ers think of this idea?

On one hand, I completely agree with you that DEP-8 has already left the
autopkgtest nest¹, and that discussing changes in a more neutral place
would be good.

  ¹ I myself use sadt when creating/changing test suites a lot

On the other hand, with the recent increase in autopkgtest/DEP8 usage,
we have been discovering several new needs which often have an impact on
the specification (see e.g. the changelog for the recent 3.2 release),
so freezing DEP-8 right now might hamper the development.

Antonio Terceiro <terceiro at debian.org>
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