Ubuntu Policy Manual

Colin Watson cjwatson at ubuntu.com
Mon Sep 1 00:14:58 BST 2008

On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 06:48:35PM +0200, Morten Kjeldgaard wrote:
> On 24/08/2008, at 16.19, Colin Watson wrote:
> >As per the attached mail, I've uploaded a version of the Debian Policy
> >Manual customised for Ubuntu. You can see the text here as well as in
> >the package:
> >
> > http://people.ubuntu.com/~cjwatson/ubuntu-policy/
> While it without a doubt is useful to have a Ubuntu Policy Manual, I  
> think that editing the DPM in a "s/Debian/Ubuntu/g" kind of way and  
> then editing certain sections even further is not all that valuable.

s/Debian/Ubuntu/g is incidental and purely so it doesn't look bizarre.
The primary focus of ubuntu-policy is the substantive changes, namely
(so far):

  * Document Ubuntu Maintainer field handling.
  * The Breaks field may safely be used in Ubuntu packages.
  * Document requirement to update the icon cache when installing files into
    subdirectories of /usr/share/icons.
  * Document the layout of the Ubuntu archive.
  * Describe Ubuntu version number conventions.
  * Document the changelog conventions for closing bugs in Launchpad, and
    the Launchpad-Bugs-Fixed .changes field.
  * Recommend that Standards-Version not be adjusted for Ubuntu revisions of
    this manual, and in general that Standards-Version should not be changed
    in Ubuntu for packages originating in Debian.
  * Note that /var/run is a tmpfs in Ubuntu and that init.d scripts must
    therefore create subdirectories of /var/run dynamically.

> Rather, I think it would be better to maintain a document with the  
> changes and updates to the DPM sections. That way, it would be easier  
> to see what exactly the differences are between the Debian/Ubuntu  
> policies, and furthermore, it would be easier to maintain when the  
> Debian manual gets revised.

I intentionally chose not to do this, because I think it's useful for
people coming fresh to Ubuntu development (without coming through
Debian) to have a single reference for Ubuntu policy. The situation you
describe is one we've had for some time now, and it's been

Maintaining the changes when the Debian manual gets revised is unlikely
to be a problem; it's a simple merge in revision control, with the usual

The head of the changelog lists the Ubuntu changes; per usual Ubuntu
practice, changes that remain on a merge will be listed afresh in the
merge changelog entry to make it easy to see what they are. However, if
you want to see the changes in detail, I suggest either:



Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at ubuntu.com]

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