[Fedora-packaging] Executable documentation

Paul Howarth paul at city-fan.org
Mon Feb 26 13:41:19 UTC 2007

Ville Skyttä wrote:
> On Saturday 24 February 2007, Jason L Tibbitts III wrote:
>> For some time I've been working under the assumption that executable
>> documentation is a bad idea.  rpmlint complains when documentation
>> generates dependencies, and these dependencies are often needless
>> bloat.
>> Lately I'm getting pushback when asking for a quick chmod -x of docs.
>> The usual argument is "It's an example, it's supposed to be
>> executable."  Currently I don't see anything in the guidelines that
>> would forbid this as long as it doesn't cause extra dependencies.
>> So, is there concensus that allowing documentation to be executable is
>> OK?  Or is it something that should be prohibited.
> I don't see anything wrong with including example scripts etc as executable if 
> they're useful and can be executed as is and don't result in additional 
> dependencies.
> Note that rpmlint does try to check if a dependency from docs is an additional 
> one or not and suppresses output if it's not, however it doesn't do any 
> depsolving which results in some warnings that can be argued to be false 
> positives.  Warnings about doc dependencies such as eg. /bin/sh for any 
> package, or /usr/bin/perl for things that already require perl(...) can IMO 
> be ignored.
> But the packager needs to keep an eye on possble future package splits etc 
> which may result in the doc dependency previously indirectly satisfied by 
> other dependencies in the package no longer resulting in that, and to act 
> accordingly when/if that happens.

I agree entirely. So long as the packager is aware of the issues 
involved and keeps on top of them when updating etc.

Disclaimer: I have at least one package with executable docs, so I'm not 
entirely unbiased.


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