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Re: Intention to re-write /usr/sbin/install-info


	Firstly, I would like to ask people to keep their cool on this
 list; we are supposed to be having a technical discussion
 here. Secondly, nobody is saying to hell with GNU software (Debian
 thinks it is GNU/Linux, remember?)

	I would prefer the following slower deployment scheme::
 a) dinstall-info should added immediately, with /usr/sbin/install-info
   symlinked to it.
 b) Debian packages should now use dinstall-info. This may be made a
    requirement for release of a future Debian release, maybe even
 c) GNU install-info, when it is packaged, should conflict with the
    current dpkg; it should also confict with some other packages (<=
    <fixed version). which use the old install-info.
 d) GNU install-info, when it is packaged, should pre-depend on a a
    dpkg which does *NOT* also provide the symlink
 e) GNU install-info should not be provided until the release after
    dinstall-info is formalized.

	In other words:
  2.0     install-info symlink exists. All packages in 2.0 use
          dinstall-info. GNU version not yet provided in main
          distribution. A README file exists so that people who wish
          can install GNU install-info from experimental (depends on
          dinstall-info to make sure people do not totally break the
          system). This experimental package should wipe the
          symlink. Upgrades from previous versons go smoothly.

  2.1/3.0 GNU install-info moves into main distribution. Predepends
            on dpkg (version with dinstallinfo, but no
            symlink). Anyone upgrading from 1.3.1 and older versions
            will be told to upgrade dpkg first, and hold off on GNU
            install-info  until after other packages have been

	(Change the above to read: experimental/new verson of texinfo
 instead of GNU install-info if we wish to have texinfo prvide

	This is a slower deployment, but I think it retains an upgrade
 path, and should move us towards having a true GNU install-info on

>>"Brandon" == Brandon Mitchell <bhmit1@mail.wm.edu> writes:

Brandon> On 1 Sep 1997, Manoj Srivastava wrote:

Brandon> If you are experienced enough to change root's path, then
Brandon> hopefully, you will be experienced enough to solve an
Brandon> install-info problem.  If not, it's the user's fault.  Is it
Brandon> our fault when the user sets LANG=us?

	No, the issue is not whether people can sort out the mess we
 create, it is whether we can come up with a solution that does not
 have users modifying their system. 

Brandon> So we keep an install-info that's different than gnu's
Brandon> version and force the user to change their path whenever they
Brandon> want to use gnu's version.  I think this show's up not just
Brandon> from gnu software, but any non-debian program that uses
Brandon> install-info.

	In this case, a non-debian incompatible program. I think as a
 general solution, this is the only way to go. What if I need to
 install a package that requires a non GNU version of make?

	This is not a new scenario. This was the GNU solution of
 choice installing on DEC Ultrix, OSF/1, HPUX. etc, when the install,
 cc, and other commands were incompatible with GNU expectations. My
 solution is a time honoured way of installing GNU software on non-GNU
 systems. I've been doing this for the best part of a decade now.

	As someone has mentioned, GNU folks are already aware of our
 incompatibility, and are taking it in their stride.

>> a) The number of people who need to install GNU packages on their
>> own is a minority of the users of Debian (I do not have any
>> non-Debian GNU stuff at the moment)

Brandon> Ok, it's just a minority.  Let's forget about them.  While
Brandon> I'm at it, I'll suggest that every cd maker discontinue
Brandon> making debian disk because we're a minority.

	Petulance rarely wins technical discusssions.

>> So, to make things a trigle easier for a minority of the people, we
>> are risking destabilizing the distribution?

Brandon> Please point out where things are getting less stable.

	Any time I have two programs with the same name on my system,
 when the behaviour depends on how the author happened to set PATH
 variables, or worse, how the user has set them, then I think the
 system is quite unpredictable. Pardon me for labelling it unstable. 


 "We must never forget that if the war in Vietnam is lost... the right
 of free speech will be extinguished throughout the world." Richard
 Milhouse Nixon, 10/27/65
Manoj Srivastava               <url:mailto:srivasta@acm.org>
Mobile, Alabama USA            <url:http://www.datasync.com/%7Esrivasta/>

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