Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (428 mails)

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[opensuse-factory] Formal specification of tags as a replacement for groups

The Group: line in .spec files is a freeform text field that is used to
declare categories that a browsing application can sort packages by.

Historically, the Group: field value specified exactly one category out
of a hierarchially-ordered tree of many categories such as:

* Amusements
* Games
* 3D
* Teachings
* Productivity
* Graphics
* CAD (3D)
* 2D

Because a package may fit into multiple categories, this proposal suggests to
move away from the hierarchial system and instead use a tag system as a base,
wherein the Group: field is a space-separated list of keywords that
characterize the package. This way, the "kate" package for example may be
associated with the keywords "kde" and "editor" and the "gedit" package with
"gnome" and "editor", such that a user browsing the software catalog can filter
either by "kde" or "gnome" (depending on preference), or by "editor" (if it
does not matter which UI) to discover packages he might be interested in.

This tag system is inspired by those of freshmeat/freecode/freshcode.club and
stackexchange.com. This tag system is already used by SUSE PackageHub,
https://packagehub.suse.com/ .


Experiments have shown (in both a POC and in PackageHub) that the words from
the classic group list make for a good start, in other words, the existing
classic groups as present in .spec files provide a starting point and thus
do not qualify as "totally useless" as some opponents repeatedly claim.
The new suggested tag list is even derived from the old list because it turns
out it was not overly bad, it was just single-value.


If and when a maintainer updates a package for some reason (version update,
patch added, etc.), s/he can also update the Group: field "en passant" to
become such a ws-separated tag list. There is no strict need to do a flag day
or for replacing classic group values across the distribution all at once.


Packages with the new system are already in the process of being delivered.

For more details, confer with
https://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Package_group_guidelines
where a section on tags has been added.
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