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Re: Configuration file update behaviour change options

Bill Mitchell writes:
>Ian Jackson <iwj10@cus.cam.ac.uk> said:

>> This is a request for discussion and suggestions. [...]
>> I'd like suggestions for a sane option syntax for allowing the person
>> who invokes dpkg to set these options.

Personally, I don't like the the chmod-like syntax.  We aren't going
to be using this thing as often as chmod; , so the options don't have
to be short; but they do have to be hard to get wrong since they have
potentially quite dramatic effects on the system.  Sounds to me like
long self-explanatory names are called for.

>Is it perhaps sufficient to give the package maintainer the
>ability to change these options, but not the package installer;
>putting the package maintainer in control of conffile handling

I don't think that's the right way to do it.  As an installer I'd want
to be able to specify that e.g. no configuration files should be
overwritten (if I believed I knew what I was doing) - a package
maintainer can't know whether local edits are of the kind that need to
propogate across reinstallation.

>If so, non-default handling behavior could be specified in the
>control file or conffiles file if different from the default
>(I'd suggest extending the conffiles syntax to cover this).

Did you have an example in mind of where it's important that the
maintainer be able to control conffile update behaviour as opposed to
the installer?


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