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Debian Policy released

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Russ Allbery

Aug 15, 2009, 8:40:07 PM8/15/09
I've just uploaded Debian Policy 3.8.3. The next time you upload a
package, please check it against the new version of Policy and update
Standards-Version in debian/control accordingly. A new release of Lintian
calibrated for this release of Policy will be uploaded shortly.

There is no need to make a new upload only to bump the standards version.
Lintian is also now smart enough to not warn if your package complied with
the current version of Policy at the time of the last upload and the
Policy version it complies with is not too old. For packages that need
little development, some packagers take the approach of doing one upload
per Debian release cycle whether the package needs it or not to do
standards version updates, switch to a new version of debhelper, resolve
minor Lintian tags, and do other housekeeping.

Summary of normative (possibly requiring changes to packages) Policy
changes since 3.8.2:

* Add DEB_*_ARCH_CPU and DEB_*_ARCH_OS variables and recommend them
over GNU-style variables for that information. [4.9]
* Source package Architecture fields may contain "all" in combination
with other architectures. Clarify when "all" and "any" may be used
in different versions of the field. [5.6.8]
* The Debian archive software does not support uploading to multiple
distributions with one *.changes file. [5.6.14]
* The Binary field may span multiple lines. [5.6.19]
* Remove the permission for shared library packages to install
libraries in a non-standard location and modify
Packages should either be installed in a standard library directory
or packages using them should be built with RPATH. [10.2]
* Clarify installation directories for X programs and remove the
requirement to pre-depend on x11-common before installing into
/usr/include/X11 and /usr/lib/X11. [11.8.7]
* Remove the requirement that all characters in a manual page be
representable in the legacy encoding for that language. [12.1]
* Localized man pages should either be kept up-to-date with the
original version or warn that they're not up-to-date, either with
warning text or by showing missing or changed portions in the
original language. [12.1]
* install-info is now handled via triggers so packages no longer need
to invoke it in maintainer scripts. Info documents should now have
directory sections and entries in the document. Packages
containing info documents should add a dependency to support
partial upgrades. [12.2]
* The requirement for Perl modules to have a versioned Depend and
Build-Depend on perl >= 5.6.0-16 has been removed. [perl]

/usr/share/doc/debian-policy/upgrading-checklist.txt.gz also contains this
list. Please review the listed section of Policy if the change appears
relevant to your package.

Russ Allbery ( <>

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