Although it sounds a lot like bureaucracy, it is the Debian Policy Manual that makes Debian the best operating system.
It describes what packages should contain, how they should be configured, and generally how packages fit together to create a Debian system.
The latest version is version 18.104.22.168 (2012-02-23)
If you install the package on your computer, the pdf file can be found in the directory : /usr/share/doc/debian-policy
Official related documents
The FilesystemHierarchyStandard. It is the most important one. Debian needs to comply with it. It makes sure you can always find files where you expect them to be.
The menu policy
The mime policy
The perl policy
The emacs policy
- version 3
- version 22.214.171.124, 2010-06-28
- version 126.96.36.199, 2008-06-04
- version 188.8.131.52, 2006-04-26
- version 184.108.40.206, 2003-07-09
See the Debian Policy team description for information on how Policy is developed and changed.