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Re: policy violation and bug reports. - some resolution?

On Sun, Feb 22, 1998 at 10:03:58PM -0800, Joey Hess wrote:
> Dale Scheetz wrote:
> > It has always been my understanding that a conffile was a special class
> > file with respect to dpkg and nothing more. It has special rules for
> > replacement, but every time I asked Ian J. I was told that a conffile was
> > not the same thing as a config file. If the policy is intended to dictate
> > that all conffiles are config files then I am willing to say that the
> > policy is broken.
> Yay! This seems to completly agree with what I originally said, and I'm glad
> you agree and that Ian agrees about the definition of a conffile vs. a
> configuration file. [1]
> I do think this discussion has brought to light some points that we could
> work on. Manoj is really right that it's better to simply touch zero-btye
> game score files in the postinst. And we need to look more closely at dosemu
> and lambdacore and maybe come up with some way to upgrade parts of them, not
> the whole thing as a single conffile (although this seems extremely
> difficult to implement).

Well, seeing as I'm the unbelievable bastard who started this whole
argument, let me reiterate my problem so people can attack it afresh.
Sharpen your knives, I also have below a proposal for the solution of my
particular siutation.  I think this particular scenario is probably
applicable to all emulators of this type.

The issue is copyrighted ROM images for emulators (the BASIC interpreter for
xtrs, in my case).

1) These files simply cannot be installed by the package itself due to
copyright constraints.

2) The package must have hard-coded into it a pathname (not just a
directory) for the "Model I" and "Model III" ROM images so it can find them
on startup.

3) These files will be static; while it's conceivable that a user would
tweak the ROM images themselves, it's pretty unlikely and a user can get
full use of the package after installing the two aforementioned ROM images
and never thinking about them again.  xtrs itself, of course, never touches
them except to read them.


1) These ROM images aren't really "variable data" (shouldn't go in /var)
2) They also aren't user-tweakable in any conventional sense to manipulate
the program's behavior (shouldn't go in /etc)
3) That leaves /usr/lib, which strikes me as the best place to put them
4) dpkg should know about these files and NOT screw with them in the course
of a package upgrade, and not remove them unless "--purge" is specified
(hence they are a conffile by the definition given by Dale above, and
should probably be provided in zero-length versions for the sake of the
inital install)

So finally, here's my proposed solution:

xtrs should install two zero-length files:


and flag them as conffiles, so they don't get clobbered during an upgrade.

Okay, I will now sit back and wait to see in how many different ways this
is a stupid thing to do.


G. Branden Robinson                 |   We either learn from history or,
Purdue University                   |   uh, well, something bad will happen.
branden@purdue.edu                  |   -- Bob Church
http://www.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ |

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