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A (Debian) Quality Proposal

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dbannon:
A very open ended question !

Debian, as part of their QA process, flag  problems in source packages. The recently packaged FPC 3.2.2 has quite few of them (so do many apps). Now, superficially you may see these as mostly quite theoretical or nit-picking but it is a quality question, so, do we do quality for its own sake ?

Or because we'd like to keep in Debian's good books or even to help the long suffering packaging team ?  And most of these things are a problem even if a very minor one.

What are they ?  https://lintian.debian.org/sources/fpc

Things like test files not being UTF8 (or ascii) seem to be about one third of the total -


--- Quote ---A file is not valid UTF-8.
Debian has used UTF-8 for many years. Support for national encodings is being phased out. This file probably appears to users in mangled characters (also called mojibake).  Packaging control files must be encoded in valid UTF-8.
--- End quote ---

Spelling also figures highly, they have a list of common misspelling and scan against it.

There are also a host of things we probably would argue is the way it should be.

So, my question, would the FPC developers accepts fixes to some of these issues ? Its unlikely it will improve the product significantly but any change carries a risk of breaking something. My approach would be, perhaps -

Identify the ones that can easily be fixed, examine each one in context (absolutely no automatic changes proposed here folks!) and fix it. Get, maybe ten such fixes in a batch, build the source do some superficial test hopefully focused on the possible areas affected.  Submit that batch of fixes as a pull request.  (or patches, or whatever you prefer).

It would be a slow process, done as a spare time activity not a key project.

So, if it worthwhile or not ?

Davo

Thaddy:
Most if not all have to do that FPC supports so many platforms.
It would be very hard to make an exception for Debian Linux in the sourcecode of the compiler/rtl.
The Debian team seems to recognize that, otherwise fpc would not be included in the standard distribution.

MarkMLl:
I'd have thought that fixing the highlighted spelling errors would be in everybody's interest.

Codepage issues should take into account (a) the target platform and (b) the provenance of the file in which the offending cavaliers appear: it would be reasonable to treat a target which predated UTF-8 and where an API definition file had a non-Unicode markup convention as a special case.

MarkMLl

dbannon:
I don't think too many (and I have only looked at six or seven) are deliberate internationalization More historical accidents IMHO


--- Quote ---errln('error setting exception n�'+hexstr(i,2));.
--- End quote ---

That line is enough for that file to be declared an ISO-8859.  I found a couple that had a mystery symbol where I'd expect the copyright symbol to be used.  Would it be fair to say internationalization belongs in the PO system ?

Similarly, spelling, Debian's list of "frequently misspelt words" (sic) would have been built up over time based on its own very broad coverage.

There are heaps of other things too, some judgement would need to be applied, thus my comment about no automatic changes ....

Davo

MarkMLl:

--- Quote from: dbannon on January 18, 2022, 11:25:58 am ---
--- Quote ---errln('error setting exception n�'+hexstr(i,2));.
--- End quote ---

--- End quote ---

If that's intended to be something like nr, nm or no then it definitely needs fixing IMO since it can be done by converting to conventional ASCII.

MarkMLl

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