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Re: Considering to drop debconf support from BRLTTY?

Koichi INOUE <inoue@argv.org> writes:

>   I am an ALVA 380 user.
>   Is it somewhat related to brltty in Debian Installer?

Actually, no.  In Debian-Installer, a prebaseconfig script which runs
shortly before the first reboot during the installation *should* actually
install brltty into the target system and adjust the configuration file
according to the settings passed as the boot prompt.  However, this does
not use debconf at all right now, so it is unrelated to my original question.

> If current D-I is intended to install brltty automatically in new
> system and the new brltty package is used in D-I, there might be some
> difficulty especially for new users.

As explained above, removal of debconf support would not affect the
procedure during an accessible new system install using a braille display.
It basically would only change things for people who install brltty
onto an already running / installed system by invoking apt-get install brltty
or some other equivalent command.

> If the parameter given at the boot prompt of D-I is propagated to
> brltty.conf of installed system, users don't need to edit brltty.conf
> until they want to use the same system with the other braille
> displays.

Yes, that is the plan of action.

> But if users have to edit brltty.conf in D-I manually to get braille
> output in the installed system, it will be more difficult to start
> Debian life by themselves.

Actually, that wouldn't just be more difficult, it would be a bug :-)

> Having dialogs will be also useful for sighted assistant to install
> Debian for blind users.

Yes, sort of, that is the only argument which still counts for
debconf, however, I really am not sure if that alone warrants the
maintainance nightmare that is a proper config-file parsing/changing debconf
support code.

Additionally, brltty 3.6 gained the ability to specify several different
display types on different busses at the same time, which allows
for quite flexible configurations.  For instance, on my laptop, I like
to use bluetooth as a bus to connect my braille star to the notebook,
since I dont have to connect cables anymore.  However, if for some
reason I forgot my bluetooth adapter, I will need to be able to connect
via USB, without having to change /etc/brltty.conf, because at that stage,
I dont have any working display.  So the ability to specify several display
types on several busses makes this possible.  Whenever there is no display
connected, BRLTTY will try all of the specified combinations until it finds a
display somewhere.  As soon as that display gets disconnected, the whole
circle starts over again.
This is actually very handy, but it also means that if we want proper
dialog based configuration via debconf, we (or better, I) have to implement
multiple-device selection support in debconf.  That doesnt exactly look
like fun, and it only adds to the complexity, which would need fixup
already anyway.


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