[Fedora-packaging] UTF-8 package names

Bill Nottingham notting at redhat.com
Tue Feb 26 18:44:54 UTC 2008

Toshio Kuratomi (a.badger at gmail.com) said: 
> Today the Packaging Committee began a discussion of whether package names 
> should be allowed to contain the full range of Unicode characters (encoded 
> as UTF-8) or be restricted to the ASCii subset.
> This is a bit of a contentious issue with the Packaging Committee members 
> split but not yet set in stone about how to proceed.
> The main arguments seem to be:
> Pro Unicode:
> * Upstream knows best what name is most appropriate for their users. For us 
> to change it locally in Fedora doesn't make much sense.
> * We allow Unicode in every other piece of the spec so why not in the 
> package name?
> * We should be shaking out bugs in the handling of Unicode in our software 
> rather than hiding issues with it.
> Pro ASCII:
> * Hard to type unicode package names, therefore it is a usability problem.
> * Is there a limit?  Even if European letters are fine what about Kanji or 
> Sanskrit?
> * Some pieces of software won't handle unicode package names and will need 
> to be fixed.

The biggest issue I could see is that any issues in handling such a package
would need to be fixed *everywhere* that package is deployed, whether it
be current Fedora, earlier Fedora, or EPEL. It may not be practical to
deploy such fixes everywhere.


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