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A "hard line" on users placing files on debian's "turf"?

This has come up on a couple of threads here, but has seen little
discussion.  I don't really have a firm opinion one way or the
other yet, but thought I'd add an observation.

I recently purchased the O'Reilly book "Running Linux", authored
by Matt Welsh and Lar Kaufman (Matt was in Seattle a few days ago
on a book promotion tour -- I attended, and bought the book there).

I haven't done more than leaf through the book, but I note that
it doesn't mention /usr/local at all (well, at least not under
"important directories" on page 105), and describes /usr/bin as
"[...] other commands [...]".  I don't mean to criticize the book
here, just to highlight that unless we take a very visible
hard line on this (and probably even if we do), debian users
not sensitive to the package admin "turf" issue will probably
be installing files in /usr/bin and elsewhere on debian "turf".
In that event, they'll be unhappy if dpkg clobbers or removes
their files when upgrading or removing packages containing files
with the same paths as those they've explicitly overwritten.

(I'll re-mention /usr/bin/fmt, /usr/bin/mt, and /usr/bin/ls as
examples which have been discussed here -- but only as examples
of the more general issue)

At a minimum, IMHO, we should strive to make this less of a
suprise to them when it happens, so we can point to the docs
they should have read which clarify the "turf" issue.

mitchell@mdd.comm.mot.com (Bill Mitchell)

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