[arch-general] /etc/os-release: Suggestions for improvements

Karol Babioch karol at babioch.de
Mon Jul 2 19:16:08 EDT 2012


I've just recently learned about the relatively new file
"/etc/os-release" and have to say that I quite like it. The previous
situation was a mess at best, so this is a great way for unifying.
systemd is really great in that regard. To my great astonishment it was
already included into Arch about a month ago, see [1].

After looking at the file I have questions about some parameters. I know
this might seem to be very petty-minded, but somehow its important to
me. Maybe I'm just too perfectionistic about this.

First of all I'm wondering why HOME_URL is set to the plain HTTP version
of archlinux.org, whereas the other two links are set to the secure
HTTPS version. This doesn't seem to be consequent. The example shows
that Fedora is using the HTTPS version for both the HOME_URL as well as

After reading the appropriate man page (see [2]), I think the parameter
SUPPORT_URL is not appropriate. It is set to
"https://bbs.archlinux.org/". Personally I have some sort of a problem
with the fact that only the forums get mentioned as a source for
support. Personally I don't use the forums very often, but do make use
of the mailing lists and the *really* great wiki much more heavily.
Furthermore there are the various IRC channels, which probably are used
by some of you.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be some sort of a landing page,
summarizing all the different ways you can ask/look for help, e.g.
something like "https://www.archlinux.org/support/". Probably this would
be the best solution. It looks like Fedora isn't mentioning a support
URL at all, so maybe this would also be an option for us also?

Furthermore I'm wondering whether we should look into the Common
Platform Enumeration (CPE) specification (see [3]) in order to apply for
an entry. From what I can tell it doesn't cost anything, but you have to
contact the NVD CPE team, see [4]. Obviously this should be done by
someone officially connected to Arch Linux.

I don't want to leave behind any wrong impressions. I really appreciate
how fast Arch Linux is following along with the proposals from upstream,
but I do think we could be more consequent in this case.

I couldn't find any sort of discussions about this, so before submitting
any "patches" and/or reporting "bugs", I would like to ask you what you
think about all of this?

Best regards,
Karol Babioch

[2] http://www.freedesktop.org/software/systemd/man/os-release.html
[3] http://cpe.mitre.org/specification/
[4] http://nvd.nist.gov/cpe.cfm

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