[lsb-discuss] /etc naming conventions buggy

Peter Moulder pjrm at mail.internode.on.net
Fri Jan 18 16:35:00 PST 2008

I have tried hard to submit a problem report, but failed:

  I click "Problem Reporting", it gives me a list of closed issues.
  I click the "Login" link just above the list of closed issues, it
  doesn't offer to create an account and just says login failed.
  I return to the main LSB page, which offers (at the top of the page)
  a "Login / create account" link.  The resulting page allows logging in
  but doesn't allow creating an account.
  I click the "Sign up" link to the right of the "Login / create
  account" link, fill in all the required fields, using ‘(individual)’
  as the organization name.  It reports success.
  I go back to the "Problem Reporting" page, and try again to login.
  This time I get "500 Internal error" and ("Powered by CherryPy 2.2.1";
  should I expect anything better from python software?).

So I give up, and have now subscribed to lsb-discuss, and send this
problem report to the list.  I'll shortly send another message about a
bug in a different section.

I've only just become aware of the 3.2 Beta version of the spec since
seeing the lsb-discuss archives, but a quick scan suggests that the
issues below apply equally to v3.1 and v3.2Beta.


Please run a spell checker over LSB.  (E.g. `implemetnations'.)

§16.2.1 ‘File Naming Conventions’ conflicts with existing practice:

/etc/init.d is one of the above locations, i.e. is subject to these
rules, but names like `checkfs.sh' don't match any of the
alternatives: it contains a dot, so it isn't a name "chosen from the
character set [a-z0-9]", so it isn't a valid assigned name [despite
being one of the names in the current list of lanana init.d names]; it
doesn't contain a hyphen, so it doesn't contain "one or more <hier-n>
components", so it isn't a hierarchical name; and it doesn't begin
with an underscore, so it isn't a reserved name.

Similarly, eight current lanana-assigned init.d names contain
underscore, and four contain uppercase letters (LCDd, rcS, README, X).

Several lanana-assigned names contain hyphen (with a first
component that doesn't contain a dot and isn't a lanana-assigned LSB
provider name).

Some lanana-assigned names contain a hyphen with a first component
that *is* a lanana-assigned LSB provider name (and is thus in fact a
valid hierarchical name despite actually being an assigned name).  The
assigned names ciphire-gw, ciphire-proxy and ekahau-engine can
probably safely be retracted and be considered hierarchical names
(their assignee seems to be the corresponding LSB provider), whereas
intel-rng-tools and tac-plus each have Assignee field value "Reserved
for LSB-Compliant Distribution".

I suggest changing the specification of assigned names to include A-Z
and to include underscore other than first character, and to include
dot at least in the case that there is no following hyphen.  (Note
that some existing lanana-assigned init.d names contain a hyphen
before the dot: console-screen.kbd.sh, console-screen.sh,
initrd-tools.sh, scsitools-pre.sh.)

What to do about assigned names with hyphens is a bit harder:
presumably the intent was that LSB providers have their own namespace
separate from the assigned-name namespace, which appears to be broken
by the intel-rng-tools and tac-plus assigned names.  However, so long
as there's no code that needs to know whether a name is a hierarchical
name or an assigned name, I suppose it doesn't matter whether tac-plus
is considered a tac name or an assigned name, it's just up to lanana
to communicate with the tac and intel providers that tac-plus and
intel-rng-tools are for lanana/LSB to specify rather than those LSB

I suggest specifying what characters reserved names can contain (other
than the initial underscore).  In particular, it would be nice to
specify that they can't contain whitespace, shell-special characters,
non-ASCII characters, control characters etc.  What reserved names do
distributions already use?  (Debian apparently doesn't use any,
according to `zgrep 'etc/init.d/_' Contents-i386.gz'.)  I suggest
starting with something fairly minimal like [a-zA-Z.] and possibly
hyphen or underscore.  (I include dot in that list so that `.sh'
etc. can be used.)

It isn't clear whether hier1 can itself contain a hyphen.  E.g. if the
LSB provider's "DNS name in lower case, with at least one '.'" is
uni-tuebingen.de, then presumably the resulting names would be of the
form uni-tuebingen.de-blah, which appear to be in the namespace of a
lalana-assigned name of `uni'.  I think this issue should be mentioned
explicitly so that people are aware of it.

Finally, I suggest summarizing all the rules into a POSIX extended
regexp, to help those writing tools to check that these rules are
followed.  (E.g. at least one implementation of install_initd tries
to check that the given name is reasonable, though the check in the
instance I've seen doesn't match the rules given here.)


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