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



On Mon, 19 Feb 1996, Richard Kettlewell wrote:

>
> >>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...

Great example! Smail is a system utility that provides mail services to
all of the users on your system. It's configuration should be complete at
installation. Pine, on the other hand, is a user application that might
rely on smail, but doesn't have to. With absolutely no configuration at
all, and no mail-delivery-agent, pine can be run fine, with no problems.
Within a few minutes the user can determine what NNTP server to use, what
mail server to use for SMTP, and a whole host of other features and
options.

Are you suggesting that it is the responsibility of the pine installation
to determine which of the various mail-delivery-agents is in place and
then properly configure pine for that agent? I don't think so!


>
> >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:
>
> ----------------------------------------
> #!/bin/sh
>
> set -e
> cd /etc
>
> if [ -f news/server ]
> then
>   if ! test -d news
>   then
>     mkdir news
>     chown news.news news
>     chmod 2775 news
>   fi
>
>   echo -n \
> 'What news server (NNTP server) should I use for reading
>  - enter its full name: '
>
>   read server
>
>   echo $server >news/server
> else
>   server=`cat news/server`
> fi
>
> if [ -f pine.conf ]
> then
>   perl -pi.bak "s/nntp-server=\$/$server/" pine.conf
> else
>   echo nntp-server=$server >pine.conf
> fi
> ----------------------------------------
>
> (untested)

I didn't say I didn't know how to do this, I said I didn't think I should
do it.

>
> >>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.

How is the above script going to help him?

>
> >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.

Then he probably shouldn't be trying to post to news groups.

>
> >That's why it's on the config menu.
>
> This is no reason not to provide a sensible default value.
>
You are, of course, correct. If this is a fix for the bug report that we
are working on, I will install it immediately!


> [...]
> >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.
>
If pine were fixed on this issue, would you still be able to do that? It
is exactly for historical compatability issues that I argue that this is
not a bug but a feature.

> >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
> him.
>
> In any case, bugs are bugs independently of who reports them.
>
That was certainly not the point I was trying to make,

Dwarf

------------                                          --------------

aka   Dale Scheetz                   Phone:   1 (904) 877-0257
      Flexible Software              Fax:     NONE
      Black Creek Critters           e-mail:  dwarf@polaris.net

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