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Re: WARNING: Re: debhelper & /usr/bin/passwd

Craig Sanders wrote:
>> As does mine: and it lies!  I've been testing package upgrades & dpkg
>> itself is very definately using --force-overwite
>which is a damn good thing.
>please, nobody suggest changing the default behaviour until dpkg has
>a config file in /etc allowing each system admin to choose what the
>default should be.
>i get really sick of apt/dselect upgrades not working in unstable
>because some people have the mistaken belief that --force-overwrite
>should default to off.
>yes, you can override it on the dpkg command line....but there is no way
>to override it if you use dselect or apt. this is evil.

Just my 2 cents:

The dpkg online help should reflect the default setting. It should not
give the impression that the default is off when it is in actual fact

Any duplicate files in packages is a bug in the package, and users may
not even be aware of the problem (ie it can scroll of the screen) unless
the default is off. If a user installs package X and it overwrites a
file with an older, buggy and/or incompatable version of file F, then
IMHO it is going to be very difficult to diagnose why package Y stops
working, especially if that user files a bug report against Y. If you
want to use --force-overwrite, perhaps these problems should be logged
somewhere. Also, bug could be made to report any potential problems
when submitting a bug report.

As an extreme example is when installing a new, buggy, package breaks
your system because it overwrites (and potentially breaks) critical
system files, for instance, this thread was started because a
package overwrite: /usr/bin/passwd /usr/bin/chsh /usr/bin/chfn

I think the default in dpkg should be off, but it should be
possible to override it by environment variable, for those
who know what they are doing. In fact, I am very surprised that
this isn't already supported...

Brian May <bam@snoopy.apana.org.au>

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