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Bug#933: Pine wants to post my email reply, and other problems

>>As to the NNTP problems: AFAICT the inewsinn package's postinst places
>>the name of the news server in /etc/news/server.  Pine's postinst
>This all sounds to me like a job for the sysadmin type, not the
>package maintainer.

By this logic, configuring (say) Smail is a job for the sysadmin
rather than the package maintainer.  The Smail configuration script
is, however, one of Debian's high points...

>These are all, variable and complex interaction
>issues that should not be dictated by the package maintainer!

I suggest you have a look at the trn postinst, which does what I am
suggesting you do.  Substituting the value determined into the default
Pine configuration file is a trivial extension to it - I'm thinking
along the following lines:


set -e
cd /etc

if [ -f news/server ]
  if ! test -d news
    mkdir news
    chown news.news news
    chmod 2775 news

  echo -n \
'What news server (NNTP server) should I use for reading
 - enter its full name: '

  read server

  echo $server >news/server
  server=`cat news/server`

if [ -f pine.conf ]
  perl -pi.bak "s/nntp-server=\$/$server/" pine.conf
  echo nntp-server=$server >pine.conf


>>This much is certainly nothing whatsoever to do with INN; rather, it
>>is a serious functional bug in the Debian Pine package.  Looking at
>>the postinst for 3.91-3 (which may be out of date) I can find no
>>attemt to determine a sane value for the NNTP server.
>The package maintainer takes the position that this is not his
>job. In fact, I'm not even sure this is the job of the sysadmin.

Consider the case where the sysadmin is installing Pine at a user's
request, and does not know how to set the NNTP server or have the time
to find out.

>Choice of an NNTP server is intended to be left up to the end user!

Consider the case where the end user has limited technical knowledge.

>That's why it's on the config menu.

This is no reason not to provide a sensible default value.

>It is this that I have found so frustrating about dealing with you
>two about this bug (and some others). Ian has admitted to me in
>private communication that he isn't even a Pine user! Now, after
>wading through your rather long winded, diversionary discussion, I
>discover that very likely you don't use the product either!

I've spent two years using Pine, as it happens, and while I now use
other programs to read my mail I still use Pine when I am forced to
because someone has sent me a MIME mail message.

>I am quite happy to work with users of this package to make
>improvements where possible. I am quite fed up with dealing with
>non-users over issues that the developer and I agree are non-bugs!
>When I have the time, I will close this bug and any future openings
>of the same bug with a copy of this posting.

Ian is a sysadmin of a system which has users who use Pine, although
he does not use it himself.  Therefore its bugs are of interest to

In any case, bugs are bugs independently of who reports them.

Richard Kettlewell
http://www.elmail.co.uk/staff/richard/                    richard@uk.geeks.org

Eat a live toad before breakfast and nothing worse will happen to you all day.

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