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

fea@fea.rrd.ornl.gov (James D. Freels) writes:
> But won't it be best to install such things under the /usr/local tree?

"Best", yes; "Preferable", yes. "Required", no. People cannot and should
not be expected to always follow a hard set of "rules" in order to install
new software under Debian. First off;
	1) A lot of new (and seasoned) UNIX admins won't know any better,
	   even if it's well documented. Trust me on that. 
	2) People will want to overlay binaries that they find on the
	   net, which might be packaged in various ways (e.g., to install
	   directly into /usr/bin).

I would strongly encourage people to use /usr/local as a convention, but
don't expect it to be a rule. This would upset and frustrate a lot of 
folks who won't understand why installing to standard places is a Bad Idea.

Very little of the software that I install, for example, would come
from Debian binary or source packages. And I shouldn't be expected to
create/use this packaging system for software which I install myself.

What Debian can do is flag any files in /usr/bin, etc. which aren't
contained in the listings for the various installed packages. So, 
at upgrade time, these files can either be saved or overwritten.
If it so happens that someone overwrites a Debian-installed file 
in /usr/bin, that should be their own problem (e.g., assume they
wanted to do that, which is often true). 

In other words, try to accomodate people installing "local" software
in /usr/bin, etc. It's not Debian's "turf"---it's their own system. 
But if people do install to /usr/bin, make sure they know the caveats
of inconsistencies with Debian-installed packages. Tracking outliers
in the file lists shouldn't be difficult.

> Debian is far from broken.  In fact, it is the best (IMHO).

Is Debian even available for general use? Is it on CD-ROM? Were
any of the fundamental problems with the development group (e.g.,
the ability for anyone to make a decision on anything) resolved?
This is not accusatory; I'm genuinely interested. 


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