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Re: Avoiding display of console-setup dialogs during base-installation

On Wednesday 18 November 2009, Anton Zinoviev wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 08:38:28PM +0100, Frans Pop wrote:
> > What exactly do you consider to be the downside of the current
> > solution?
> 1. It doesn't seem right to omit completely such an important question.

It does not really get omitted. The value for the question now gets set 
based on the keyboard layout selected in kbd-chooser.

I wonder if you have the right context here. This is NOT about the question 
being asked during D-I itself, but being unintentionally asked when 
console-setup gets installed in the *target environment* after the desired 
keyboard layout has already been selected using kbd-chooser.
So, effectively the user got asked the same question twice.

> 2. In Ubuntu console-setup doesn't omit this question but asks it with
>    lower priority and nobody has complained.

If it is moved to lower priority then the effect is *exactly* the same, 
namely that it will never get asked during new installs using Debian 
Installer. And again, the question does not get omitted: it has already 
been answered in kbd-chooser.

> 3. Maybe I am wrong, but during the discussion about the question about
>    /dev/tty[1-6] I had the impression that the people are agains the
>    questions of low priority not because they are bad for the users but
>    because they make the testing of the installer more boring.

No, that's absolutely not true. The reason (my reason at least) was that I 
strongly feel that the question is completely and utterly irrelevant for 
users doing system installs using Debian Installer, even in expert mode.
It is simply not the level of detail we ever want to confront users with 
while using D-I.

Anyway, that's totally unrelated to this issue as we're not currently using 

> 4. Playing with the seen flag can cause unexpected bugs in some future
>    version of console-setup.

No, it cannot, unless you have explicit tests for the seen flag in the 
console-setup scripts, which would be buggy anyway.
Unless I'm very much mistaken, during whatever later action on an installed 
system, *all* questions will always be displayed as those cases will be 
reconfiguration and thus the seen flag will be ignored by debconf.

> 5. In some cases this is simply wrong.  In Bulgaria almost everybody
>    uses phonetic layout but if the variant question is omited
>    console-setup will configure the bds layout which is totaly different.

Even if they've already selected the correct layout in kbd-chooser? That is 
the only relevant scenario here.

> Index: debian/keyboard-configuration.config
> ===================================================================
> --- debian/keyboard-configuration.config	(revision 61355)
> +++ debian/keyboard-configuration.config	(working copy)
> @@ -708,7 +708,7 @@
>      old_xkbvariant="$XKBVARIANT"
>      XKBVARIANT=''
>      old_layout_priority=$layout_priority
> -    layout_priority=medium
> +    layout_priority=low
>      case "$di_keymap" in
>  	be2) XKBLAYOUT="be";;
>  	bg) XKBLAYOUT="us,bg";;

That change simply cannot make any difference for this issue as the 
question currently can only be displayed when the package is apt-installed 
if it is asked at *high*, and not at medium priority.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, this is weird.

/me takes another look at the code.........

OK, forget most of the above.

So, the actual reason that the dialog was shown, was that the selection 
from kbd-chooser was not propagated to the target environment. Because of 
that, the question was being asked at *critical* priority, and thus 
displayed. From the code above I understand that *if* a value is already 
available, the question should be asked only at medium priority.

I fixed the "seen" issue first, because at that time I was not aware of 
that other issue. I only found that during later testing.
So, now that second issue is fixed, setting the seen flag is in fact not 
needed at all (I've just tested this) because that makes the question 
being asked at medium priority (and thus not displayed).
I did not cross my mind that solving the second issue could also have 
solved the original issue.

So, even though I think your arguments against setting the seen flag are 
not really valid [1], I can in fact simply revert that change in 
kbd-chooser (and will do so). And I'll also check how this affects the 
lenny-support udeb.
And no additional change is needed in console-setup either.

Thanks for getting me to look again at this. 


[1] D-I does in general support preseeding debconf questions in the target 
environment, and we do use the same solution for a few other issues. There 
have never been any problems because of that.

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