I'm packaging the Tcl-based HTTP server written by Brent Welch
(Scriptics, Inc.) and Stephen Uhler (Sun Microsystems). The server
itself is running fine, but there are a few issues that I'd like to ask
about regarding its integration into the Debian system.
1. Usually a daemon makes itself into a child of `init' by forking twice
and letting itself be adopted. The Tcl server doesn't do this (it can
offer a command prompt and/or Tk-based GUI so one can debug it or
include patches, and Tcl doesn't have `fork' anyway). I have an init
script that starts the server by interposing a shell script, but this
makes it difficult to stop the server using `start-stop-daemon',
since `start-stop-daemon' doesn't seem to find the correct process to
There are different options:
- Use hand-written code instead of `start-stop-daemon' to start and
stop the server. This is probably the most workable approach.
- Write a C wrapper that handles the daemonization. This is a
nuisance because the server itself is architecture-independent (it
is a pure Tcl program).
- Change the server so it daemonizes itself properly. This would
probably be a major undertaking.
2. The server includes a few Tcl extensions in C that offer interfaces
to library functions such as crypt() and [gs]etrlimit(). These come
in a separate package, which is `Recommend:'ed by the main server
package, since the server works perfectly well without them (although
with some loss of functionality). If you install the package while
the server is running (e.g., because it was started from the init
script when the server had been installed earlier), the server needs
to be started and stopped to take advantage of the new extensions.
- output a note to that effect in the post-install script of the
- include code to start and stop the server in the extensions package
(I happen to think that this would be uncalled-for meddling with
the affairs of the server)
- do anything else?
I'd be happy to hear from you if you have any suggestions.
Anselm Lingnau ......................... firstname.lastname@example.org
No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.
-- Samuel Johnson, after Boswell