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Location of Web Application Data

My evaluation of the Debian munin packages has made me realize some shortcomings in Debian policy, part 11.5.3. I am trying to word them here.

quoting from Policy 11.5.3:

Web Applications should try to avoid storing files in the Web Document Root. Instead they should use the /usr/share/doc/package directory for documents and register the Web Application via the menu package

I have two issues with that:

  1. I think that /usr/share/doc/package is an error which should be /usr/share/package. If I remember correctly, we changed policy some time ago, and today nothing may depend on files installed to /usr/share/doc/package.
  2. I fail to see what the menu package has to do with things. Is there actually a mechanism which allows a web application to register itself with the menu package, and the web server install a menu handler which automatically generates the appropriate config snippets? configure itself for the application? If that mechanism exists, why isn't it in wide use? Most web applications I use either work out of the box with static html files and cgi-scripts accessible on the normal path, or bring their own /etc/apache/conf.d config snippet with them. The latter has the problem that only apache dialects are supported at all, and that effort is to be duplicated for apache and apache2.

Am I missing something or is this part of policy widely ignored?


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