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Files in this directory with lowercase filenames contain descriptions of
various general tasks a user might want to perform with a Debian system,
lists of packages that they might use to perform the tasks, and grouping
information to make related sets of tasks appear together.
See the toplevel README for details about the file format. The files in
this directory are preprocessed and may include comments by prefixing any
line with a hash mark ("#"). Also, the Packages-list field is used in these
files to list the packages that are part of each task, like so:
List only real packages, not virtual packages.
Packages listed for different tasks (and within a single task)
should not conflict, or the results will be rather arbitrary.
Packages that are only available on some architectures, or that may not
be available on the user's installation media may still be listed. This
is no problem, they are simply ignored in those cases. Take care listing
such packages as Key however.
Care should be taken when adding new tasks to ensure that the new task is
suitably generic -- it should be something of value to a large number (at
least 25%) of our users; and 90% of our users should be able to understand
what the task is from only its short description. It must not perform the
same general purpose as some other existing task. It must contain packages
that are the ones in most common use, and software that is of the best
perceived quality. These criteria are relaxed some if the task has an
appropriate test program. No more than 10 tasks should ever be displayed by
the program, so if there are more, the least-used tasks must be removed
when adding a new one.
Users are given the opportunity to drill down and select/unselect
individual packages; the tasks they select only serve as a starting
point. So err on the side of listing too many packages, rather than too
few (but don't go overboard, since many users will not bother with
package-level selection at first).
Keep short descriptions short -- very short -- and to the point. Do not
include details about what individual packages a task includes.
Debian developers aside from the tasksel maintenance team may take over
maintenance of tasks. Talk with the tasksel developers first, and then put
your name in a Maintainer field in the task file you're maintaining.
Note that while you may put non-free or contrib packages in tasks, they
will not propagate out to the Task fields in the Packages files in the