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Bug#446416: marked as done (tasksel: silent failures due to trailing whitespace)

Your message dated Mon, 10 Aug 2009 07:53:37 +0200
with message-id <20090810055337.GP8800@mykerinos.kheops.frmug.org>
and subject line Re: Bug#446416: Bug does no longer exist, imho
has caused the Debian Bug report #446416,
regarding tasksel: silent failures due to trailing whitespace
to be marked as done.

This means that you claim that the problem has been dealt with.
If this is not the case it is now your responsibility to reopen the
Bug report if necessary, and/or fix the problem forthwith.

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446416: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=446416
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Contact owner@bugs.debian.org with problems
--- Begin Message ---
Package: tasksel
Version: 2.68
Severity: normal

I was helping a coworker debug a problem w/ a custom tasks description file
today, and it turned out the cause was a piece of trailing whitespace.

Its easy to reproduce with a file such as this one:

root@dl380g5:/# cat /usr/share/tasksel/dannf.desc 
Task: dannf
Section: user
Description: dannf 
 long description
Relevance: 10
Packages: list

Note that the short description has a single trailing whitespace character.
This task will appear in the tasksel menu, but if I select it (and in my tests,
its the only one I select) tasksel silently does nothing.

I've narrowed this down to the point of observing that the file left behind
by tasksel-debconf is empty. The data seems to get properly written to
questions.dat, where I'll see something along the lines of:

Name: tasksel/first
Template: tasksel/first
Value: dannf
 ORIGCHOICES = dannf , Mail server, Laptop, Standard system
 CHOICES = dannf , Mail server, Laptop, Standard system

Also, its worth noting that this only seems to fail when tasksel is invoked by
d-i. The task gets properly installed if I try to reproduce by chrooting into
/target first, or if I'm on an already-installed system.

My suspicion is that this is a parsing bug, or at least a difference between
debconf and cdebconf (which might explain why the bug only occurs when
invoked by d-i) - though I haven't really dug into the debconf side
of things at all.

Of course, I don't know of any real reason why you'd *want* trailing
whitespace here. But, as non-trailing whitespace is valid in this field, it
would follow that trailing whitespace would be syntactically valid as well
(if for no other reason than to save a poor scmuck like me a few hours of
debugging in the future :)

I originally discovered this w/ the etch installer, but have reproduced it
with a daily build from today.

-- System Information:
Debian Release: lenny/sid
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (500, 'unstable'), (1, 'experimental')
Architecture: ia64

Kernel: Linux 2.6.22-3-mckinley (SMP w/1 CPU core)
Locale: LANG=C, LC_CTYPE=C (charmap=ANSI_X3.4-1968)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash

Versions of packages tasksel depends on:
ii  aptitude            terminal-based apt frontend
ii  debconf [debconf-2.0]        1.5.14      Debian configuration management sy
ii  liblocale-gettext-perl       1.05-1      Using libc functions for internati
ii  tasksel-data                 2.68        Official tasks used for installati

tasksel recommends no packages.

-- debconf information:
  tasksel/desktop: gnome
  tasksel/first: Standard system
  tasksel/tasks: Print server

--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
Quoting dann frazier (dannf@debian.org):

> > So, it seems that things are OK as of now...
> Thanks Christian. Looks like this is resolved, feel free to close.


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