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Re: RFC: A method to use Admin tools, like linuxconf

[this is getting to be fun]
>>"Shaya" == Shaya Potter <spotter@itd.nrl.navy.mil> writes:

Shaya> Let me start off fresh with the plain idea no fancy language.

Shaya> right now a packafe includes the init scripts and puts them in
Shaya> /etc/init.d/ it then tells SysV init when to launch them by
Shaya> running update-rc.d.  This installs links into the rc*.d tree.
Shaya> This is limiting in the fact, that if someone wants to use
Shaya> linuxconf, it is almost totally incompatable with debian.

	Right. Of course, I'd say (putting the emphasis the other
 way), Linuxconf is totally incompatible with debian, and that limits
 Linuxconf (can we get it to change? ;-)

Shaya> What I tried to propose is, 1. we give a little abstraction
Shaya> layer to update-rc.d, what I called "configure".  This
Shaya> abstraction layer is the database file.  The database file
Shaya> should never be consulted after dpkg configures the package,
Shaya> unless perhaps we want to reconfigure the system.  What my
Shaya> modified version of update-rc.d, or the "configure" program
Shaya> each package installs, does is to parse the database file and
Shaya> creates what files that package needs, such as linuxconf's
Shaya> dropins.

	Do not store the same information in two lpaces, unless you
 are willing to invest a great deal of effort in synchronization and
 coherency tools. Second, all the data that you want to put into the
 database already exists on the file system.  Is there a technocal
 reason to require a formal database, with the added opacity, to this
 situation? Do we need formal database advantages? 

Shaya> I don't want to get rid of init.  I believe we can live with
Shaya> SysV init.  We might not even include Linuxconf in the main
Shaya> distribution at first, put it into contrib, but at least put
Shaya> more hooks into the release so that it is easier to use it.

	I vote we put more hooks into Linuxconf to make it easier to
 use on Debian systems ;-) ;-) ;-) (I *am* trying to make a point

Shaya> Now that I have digressed a little, let me get back to what I
Shaya> was saying, what I am proposing does not involve putting
Shaya> anything in any proprietary database that is looked up at boot
Shaya> time, configuration is done at package configuration time, just
Shaya> like we run update-rc.d.  Instead of update-rc.d putting
Shaya> symlinks into the rc*.d tree, it does whatever is neccesary for
Shaya> the init manager.  Is this clear.  I am not proposing a
Shaya> structure for this database file, that is a topic for another
Shaya> discussion, hopefully once we get over this hump.

	My question is, why? Is there a technical requirement for
 this?  Remember, we have to invest time and effort, which may be
 spent better elsewhere. This new method will also have to be tested,
 and the glitches worked out. I need to be convinced of the
 superiority of your methos before I vouchsafe it. 

	Also, I think that symlinks in directories are simpler.	Never
 under estimate the value of the KISS principle. 

Shaya> To answer the question of Linuxconf storing configuration data
Shaya> in proprietary places, IT DOESNT.  It uses the standard tools,
Shaya> so it must store their configuration files in their standard
Shaya> places.  Some of the other data, which doesn't have a standard
Shaya> place to put the configuration data, like ethernet stuff, it
Shaya> puts in its own configuration file (at least from my
Shaya> understanding of linuxconf's docs.)  It actually detected many
Shaya> of my setting automatically on a test Debian system I installed
Shaya> it on, by reading the standard files, and it would write
Shaya> changes to those files.

	And it reads data from the standard locations as well? (so my
 changes are not lost). If this is so, why are we having this
 discussion? Seems to me that Linuxconf can be put into place
 transparently, and requires no action from the general developer

	Oh, sorry. It puts *Standard* data in the usual place, but
 everything else goines in a non-standard place determined by
 Linuxconf. Hmm. Hmm. Could you tell us what the file is, please? (I
 don't have access to LinuxConf). And what format the data is kept in?

Shaya> Now if you don't like the fact that linuxconf puts all the non
Shaya> standard data in one file, we can probably work with its
Shaya> developers to split that data up, and maybe put it into files
Shaya> which make more sense, (Hey we may even be able to publish a
Shaya> standard which other Distributions can follow).  More examples
Shaya> of this data which doesn't have a standard place, is the Linux
Shaya> firewall rules.  Usually you would just call ipfwadm by hand,
Shaya> linuxconf will set the rules for you.  Since their is no
Shaya> standard place of putting this data, linuxconf stores it in its
Shaya> own file, which as I said b/4 I think is plain text.

	I wholeheartedly agree! Yes!

Shaya> Well, please respond.

	You got it.


 "No problem is too big it can't be run away from."  Linus
Manoj Srivastava               <url:mailto:srivasta@acm.org>
Mobile, Alabama USA            <url:http://www.datasync.com/%7Esrivasta/>

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