DEP-5, JW, dev docs and other goodies

Are you using DEP-5 in copyright file? Are you doing it right? Thanks to the work of Jakub Wilk, Lintian 2.5.3 will spot some of the regular mistakes (including syntax errors) and check if you are using the newest revision.

This is far from the only thing Jakub Wilk has added to Lintian in this development cycle. Most of his contributions in 2.5.3 are listed next to a little “[JW]” in the changelog and I hope to see a lot more of those. 🙂

Together with Jeremiah Foster, we have created a small POD document that hopefully will help aspiring developers. The file currently explains how the source code is divided, some core concepts and how to run specific tests in the test suite. The plan is to make it available on lintian.d.o along with a link to the git source code (#639974).

Last time, I mentioned we have gotten rid of collection/fields by a simple improvement to our Lintian::Collect API. Turns out the same improvement could also be used on collection/source-control-file. This means we no longer create a file per field in the d/control of the source package.

To avoid (any more) confusion, Lintian will now inform you if the package carries an override for a non-overridable tag (except if you use --quiet). On a related note, Lintian will now error out if it sees an unknown field in a vendor profile. Previously it would just silently ignore the field.

There is one more change I would like to highlight and this one is probably best served with an example:

$ lintian --show-overrides ../lintian_2.5.2.dsc 
N: We build-depend on cdbs for the test suite
O: lintian source: unused-build-dependency-on-cdbs
N: We build-depend on quilt for the test suite
O: lintian source: quilt-build-dep-but-no-series-file
N: We don't have a patch system for lintian itself
O: lintian source: patch-system-but-no-source-readme

Lintian will now attempt to extract and print the comment related to the override from the overrides file. The comment will be printed above each tag the override applies to (so you may see some repeated comments). The full documentation for how Lintian finds the comments (or why it does not find the comment) is available in the Lintian User Manual.

The exact format of the comments being outputted may change in the near future. Particularly, we may add a marker to assist the tools generating lintian.d.o to find the comments. Hopefully we will be able to close #512901 soon.

Beyond the changes above, I am very happy to see the bug count drop below 180 unfixed bugs[1]. We have not been this low there since the 2.5.0~rc1 upload (in February) and I hope we can keep it this time. 🙂

Finally if you ever wanted to run your own little “lintian.d.o”, then you may find the “Lintian harness” proposal interesting. The basic idea the is to clean up the current tools and make a proper frontend out of them. Should you be interested, feel free to come with suggestions or requests.

[1] Lintain bug page

I use the number next to “Outstanding” under “Status” near the bottom. So “pending” bugs are considered “fixed” in my numbering.

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