Package name separators

Miles Bader miles at
Wed Jul 19 00:15:48 PDT 2000


In section 13.3.2 ("Package Naming and Versioning"), why was a hyphen
chosen to separate the elements?  In my experience, hyphens are quite
common in both package names and versions, so disallowing hyphens in the
elements themselves seems an inconvenient restriction.  Would not
underscore (as debian uses) be more reasonable?

The traditional GNU-style naming scheme -- e.g. NAME-VERSION.tar.gz --
uses a hyphen separator, but in my experience this is quite annoying
when trying to automatic processing of such files...



  13.3.2 Package Naming and Versioning

  The full name of a package must consist of two elements specified the
  program maintainer, and an optional third element specified by the
  packager. These are separated by hyphens, which may not be used to
  subdivide an individual element.

  The first two elements, specified by the program maintainer, are the
  package name and version. The third element identifies the package as
  packaged up by the packager. Sub-elements should be separated by dots.
  An example name would be


  for the first release by distro on arch of the package foobar v3.1.10.
  You might also have foobar.source-3.1.10 and foobar.devel-

Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra.  Suddenly it flips over,
pinning you underneath.  At night the ice weasels come.  --Nietzsche

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