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Re: Patch for making psutils use /etc/papersize

>>>>> "DS" == Dale Scheetz <dwarf@polaris.net> writes:

DS> On Sun, 2 Jun 1996, Yves Arrouye wrote:

>> Hello,
>> Please find enclosed a patch to make psutils work with /etc/papersize. I
>> used something I already use for a2ps, but please not the following points:
>> - the libpaper library, which is rather crude, will be released next
>> week only (as soon as I get the right to upload on the Debian archive);
DS> I would be happy to support your efforts to incorporate /etc/papersize in
DS> the psutils package, I just think it should come from upstream. Also,
DS> there are easier ways of dealing with this issue, that don't enclude
DS> adding another dependency/conflict difficulty to yet another package.
DS> Since all the utilities provide paper size parameters on the command line,
DS> the user is encouraged to write simple shell scripts for each of the
DS> classes of psutils jobs that user needs to perform. These scripts may use
DS> /etc/papersize or some other method for controling these parameters. It is
DS> my understanding that this is the way these utilities were intended to be
DS> used.

My impression is that /etc/papersize (so far) is only used by packages
during the installation to set up their own configuration files. It is
not a configuration file by itself. This is important in so far as
many packages have more options to set than just the paper size. But
often, all but the paper size can be set to generally acceptable
defaults. So, IMHO, it wouldn't be nice if one package decides to use
/etc/papersize as it's configuration file. 

Also, I don't think a libpaper library will help a lot here. Think of
a2ps. It has many more compile time options than just the size of the
paper. I think that each package should provide its own set of
configuration files for such purposes. Also, I don't think it will be
that easy to get all of the half-dozen or so packages which use a
default paper size to use libpaper.

And the upstream authors should be encouraged to use runtime
configration instead of compile time configuration as much as
possible. In the pre-Linux days of free software, the system
administrator of a site was expected to compile everything
themselves. In that case, fixing site defaults using compile time
options was acceptable. But as soon as software gets distributed as
binaries, configuration files become important. With the extra
advantage that per-user default .packagerc files are easy to

   Dr. Lukas Nellen                 | Email: lukas@teorica0.ifisicacu.unam.mx
   Depto. de Fisica Teorica, IFUNAM |
   Apdo. Postal 20-364              | Tel.:  +52 5 622 5014 ext. 218
   01000 Mexico D.F., MEXICO        | Fax:   +52 5 622 5015

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