[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

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

mdw@sunsite.unc.edu, lark@conserv.org said, in response to my troll
for discussion on this:

> Debian should follow the FSSTND at least, and be able to cope with people
> installing their own binaries in common places such as /usr/bin, etc.

I wasn't advocating a hard line.  I was opining that _if_ we're going
to take a hard line that debian users should not place files into
/usr/bin and other areas considered debian "turf", we should say so
clearly and prominently to inform debian users about this.  Besides
the "Running Linux" book from which I quoted, this thread started off
from the following debian-devel exchange, and others in the same vein:

+ Bill Mitchell writes ("Re: Conflict/dependency granularity"):
+ > Richard Kettlewell <richard@elmail.co.uk>
+ > > The FSSTND says, among other things:
+ > > 
+ > >   Locally installed software should be placed within /usr/local rather
+ > >   than /usr unless it is being installed to replace or upgrade
+ > >   software in /usr.
+ > 
+ > It's be splitting semantic hairs, but the argument could be made that
+ > the operator might become dissatisfied with a debian-provided binary
+ > for some reason or another and decide to replace it with locally-installed
+ > software.  This would seem to be permissable under the passage quoted
+ > above.  We'd silently overwrite his locally-installed software at the
+ > next upgrade of the package containing the files he'd replaced.
+ That is entirely what the user ought to expect.

If we're going to to overwrite or remove files which the user manually
places in /usr/bin and elsewhere on debian "turf", we should warn the
user.  If we're going to overwrite or remove the users files silently,
we should at least say clearly and prominently in the debian documentation
that we're going to do that, identify debian's "turf" specifically, and warn
the user that he places files onto debian "turf" at his own risk.

> If Debian won't permit people to easily build and install their own
> binaries in common directories on the system, then Debian is fundamentally
> broken. Don't be totalitarian; be flexible.

Or, if you're going to be totalitarian, give people clear forewarning.

Reply to: