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Re: cdebconf X_SETBACKTITLE command

On Mon, Jan 31, 2005 at 06:17:05PM -0500, Joey Hess wrote:
> I think what I dislike about the setbacktitle command is how specific it
> is to the dialog frontend, and how it's not clear how or if any other
> frontends should implement it. Maybe we should generalise a bit from the
> reason Colin needs it -- the basic need is for a way to give the user
> information out of band about the overall process they're engaged
> in using debconf, or perhaps even more generally, any information that
> they don't really need to explicitly confirm they've read, as they do a
> note.

Right. My focus was the former, but the latter's a fair generalisation.

> I can think of a few similar things -- one might be a similar backtitle
> during an apt upgrade that said "System update" or whatever. Another
> could be telling the user that a debian installation is running, along
> with the build version. Perhaps with some additional interesting info,
> such as an estimated ETA for the entire install. Perhaps, as Pere
> mentioned, we might want to display some longer texts during the
> debootstrap process, to give the user something to read. Maybe a little
> intro to Debian or something. I may be getting too ambitious, but that's
> a good spectrum of potential uses.

Yeah, I like Petter's idea. The GTK frontend (say) would probably want
to display the long description of an INFO in a separate window or
something; you could then call INFO and expect the long description to
be ignored by any frontend that doesn't have enough space to display the

> I can think of two approaches now:
>  - How about calling the command INFO, and allowing it to display a debconf
>    note (or similar template type): "INFO foo". Probaly only the short
>    description would be displayed, though we could get more ambitous and
>    try to support longer texts if something like a progress bar is all
>    that's being displayed otherwise. Display of the info at all would be
>    up to the frontend, so the information cannot be something the user
>    strictly needs to complete their process, just some additional
>    information. Frontends would attempt to display the info
>    persistently, so it's available for the user to read until some other
>    info comes along. Note the analogy to "PROGRESS INFO".

Like you, I like this idea, and now that the Ubuntu release is done I
actually have a bit of time to invest in cdebconf again. Fortunately
this is just a straight renaming of the X_SETBACKTITLE command to INFO,
and associated internal stuff. Also fortunately, there's never been a
cdebconf release to Debian with X_SETBACKTITLE (although Ubuntu has it,
but that's my problem, and I'll probably just opt for a flag day).

I've checked in this change as r26668. Do you want a patch to debconf to
implement the same command, to reduce divergence?


Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson@debian.org]

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