[maemo-users] Steve's Ranty Review #1: N800 ogg support

From: Steve Greenland steveg at moregruel.net
Date: Fri Oct 19 19:58:28 EEST 2007
According to Marius Vollmer  <marius.vollmer at nokia.com>:
> How important is it to fix this?  I'm working on the assumption that
> you would only activate "Show all packages" in an emergency, but would
> usually leave it off (precisely because it decreases the useability so
> much).

The problem is that while in theory, I could just display all the
packages in a particular cagetory, or even only the "users/*"
categories, in practice the category stuff is so screwed up that the
only way to find anything is browsing the "all" lists.

This screwup isn't your fault, of course; it's the lack of having a
standard policy document to guide developers. Even what there is isn't
consistent. Consider the 3-.x "Making a package for the Application
Manager in maemo 3.x" document. It says:

    The AI only shows packages in the "user" section. Thus, your
    "Section:" field in the control file should be of the form
    "user/<SUBSECTION>", where SUBSECTION is arbitrary. SUBSECTION
    should be a nice capitalised, English word like "Ringtones"

Then it shows examples like:

	# user/accessories Accessories
    # user/communication Communication

So, what goes in the control file? "user/accessories" or
"user/Accessories" or "user/accessories Accessories"? Two of the three
violate the previous definition, and the examples don't even follow the

Writing policy (standards, basically) is hard, of course. (I was
involved in a lot of the early Debian policy documentation.) But to have
a working thirdparty developer community, it's necessary. A complete
anarchy does not lead to good results.

At lot people miss the fact that the reason Debian packages have such
a good reputation (compared to RPMs, particulary RPMs from the Redhat
5-8 era), has very little to do with the technology of .deb and a huge
amount to do with the Debian policy effort.

Steve Greenland
    The irony is that Bill Gates claims to be making a stable operating
    system and Linus Torvalds claims to be trying to take over the
    world.       -- seen on the net

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