#541 Package Naming Guidelines - Clarification Required
Closed: Fixed None Opened 4 years ago by gbcox.

I'm currently packaging an application which is named Oggify. After reading: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging:NamingGuidelines
I decided to name it: "oggify" - all lowercase.

There is an objection to this approach here: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1175023#c16
Ralf Corsepius states:

"It's Fedora convention to name packages after the upstream tarball's name, which as I understand your spec is "Oggify".

I requested a link from Ralf for that requirement here:
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1175023#c17

The reviewer agreed with my interpretation here:
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1175023#c18

Ralf responded here: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1175023#c24

Ralf has not yet provided any documentation supporting his position, but instead stated he does not agree with our interpretation and suggested we open a FPC ticket. I've searched extensively and can find nothing which supports Ralf's contention.

The guidelines clearly state under General Naming:

EMPHASIS MINE:

When naming a package you CAN TAKE SOME CUES from the name of the upstream tarball, project name from which this software came, and what has been used for this package by other distributions/packagers in the past. DO NOT JUST BLINDLY FOLLOW THESE EXAMPLES, however, as package names should strive to be consistent within Fedora more than consistent between distros. YOU SHOULD GENERALLY USE LOWERCASE and turn underscores into dashes UNLESS there's a COMPELLING REASON to follow a different upstream convention.

Personally, I don't really care how the package is named. I decided to use lowercase because after reading the guidelines, it appeared that the packager had a bit of discretion and all lowercase was preferable (which I do tend to agree that it makes things a bit less confusing because of case sensitivity).

Initially, I wasn't inclined to file this request, but after thinking about it, decided if Ralf is correct, then the documented guidelines are incorrect, or misleading at best, and must be changed.

Let me know if you require additional information. Thank you for your time.


My understanding is that lowercasing stuff should be encouraged, if anything. But I'll move it to the meeting so we can talk about it.

Thanks James. https://fedorahosted.org/fpc/ticket/336#comment:5
kind of sums it up:

"At today's FPC meeting we voted on:

"Use lowercase and turn underscores into dashes unless there's a compelling reason to follow a different upstream convention."

(+1:5, 0:0, -1:0)"

Not only that, but I think the guidelines are pretty clear here. I don't know why anyone would question a packager's choice to use lower case given what the guideline says. A compelling reason would be that upstream requests that case be preserved in package names or something.

Of course, we can talk about just mandating lower case or somehow strengthening the verbiage towards having more of a bias towards lower case, but I'm not really sure there's any point. At this point if someone wants to argue, they'll argue no matter what the guidelines say.

From an end user perspective, anyone who runs dnf from the command line is far better served by just having things in lower case.

IMO the guidelines now go about as far as possible to mandate lowercase without actually using the "mandate" word. It appears to me fairly obvious. The "compelling reason" is a bit squishy, and there are words saying the the packager "should" respect the wishes of upstream "if" they express any preference in case - but it doesn't say they "must".

I believe in cases like this you look at the intent of the guideline, which is to have a uniform and consistent standard within Fedora. As @tibbs mentions, "From an end user perspective, anyone who runs dnf from the command line is far better served by just having things in lower case." I can personally attest to that.

Another factor to keep in mind is the guideline on "Conflicting Package Names":
"Package names which differ only in case are still considered to be conflicting."
So the fact that a mixed case Project name in Fedora is being converted to lowercase isn't
going to cause a future conflict.

The Naming Guidelines are not changing the identity of the project, nor the method upstream chooses to name their project. It only relates to how that package is identified within Fedora for packaging purposes. If you go to the project website, you can view how upstream wants to represent their project - mixed case, special characters, etc. It's helpful to know though, if you want to install My-FavORIte_PacKage that in Fedora, you can simply use:
dnf install my-favorite-package from the command line. I believe there is major value to
that. Allowing upstream to dictate the package naming convention is just confusing and
chaotic. You then don't have one uniform standard, you have thousands.

Yeh, weird ... I'd assumed Ralf knew the policies better than that, so was wondering if we were missing something. Doesn't look like it though.

We can still talk about it a bit, maybe also the weird way reviews seem to happen atm. (I just went through one recently, and it was also stupidly strict and the easiest way out for most things just seems to be just agreeing to whatever insane technical reading the reviewer has ... and then you get a free pass on almost everything post review. shrugs).

Using the tarball name had been the rule ever since Fedora exists. This repeatedly had been subject to discussions, because cultural seem to prevent some groups to see a difference. I am not aware this rule was changed and if it was changed this qualifies as a regression to me and a symptom of what I perceive as increasing lack of overall quality of Fedora to me.

So let me reiterate what I have been repeating what I have been saying in this occasions for the last ten years:
- Capitalization matter when it come to names.
- It makes a difference whether you have consume Coke or coke.
- Technically, capitalization also matters.

We discussed this at this weeks meeting (http://meetbot.fedoraproject.org/fedora-meeting-1/2015-06-18/fpc.2015-06-18-16.00.txt):

We discussed this at this weeks meeting (http://meetbot.fedoraproject.org/fedora-meeting-1/2015-06-25/fpc.2015-06-25-16.01.txt):

  • 541 Package Naming Guidelines - Clarification Required (geppetto,


    16:19:22)
  • ACTION: Package Naming Guidelines - Clarification. Lowercase better
    than mixedcase package names. (+1:6, 0:0, -1:2) (geppetto,
    16:31:39)

Announcement text:

The "General Naming" section of the Package Naming Guidelines has been modified to bring mention of lower casing and use of dashes to the beginning, and to slightly emphasize the use of lower case package names.

Metadata Update from @james:
- Issue assigned to tibbs

2 years ago

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