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Re: Packages should not Conflict on the basis of duplicate functionality

On Thu, Sep 30, 1999 at 02:16:31PM +1000, Craig Sanders was heard to say:
> > And if the package has a dependency? 
> > There are many situations dealing with the package system that can
> > lead to daemons installing without your knowledge.  mtools for potato
> > includes floppyd, if someone upgrades a slink machine to potato, 
> > should floppyd be automatically started?  
> if mtools needs floppyd to run and the user has chosen to install mtools
> then yes. the user want mtools to work, they don't want mtools to work
> ONLY if they do some weird and obscure thing (even if it IS documented
> in the debian changelog, it is still weird and obscure unless they
> happen to be aware of the fact that this major change has occurred)
> which they never needed to do in the past...
> in other words, mtools used to just work, it should continue to just
> work after an upgrade.

  I think it really looks like this question will not be solved until debconf
is integrated into the distribution.  floppyd is *not* required for mtools to
work, it's just an optional and obscure 'feature' (not to mention either an evil
or a clever hack :P) that most people aren't going to need (I wasn't even aware
it existed until someone brought it up here)  It also sounds like a potentially
gaping security hole to me.  In this case I think the only sane solution is to
shut it off by default.  I believe there are other packages that have similar
situations (none spring to mind though)  On the other hand, many things (like
exim, ftp daemons, and inetd) should start running as soon as they're installed
in most setups.  (OTOH, a less promiscuous default inetd setup -- say, no ftp
or telnet -- might be good)

  I don't really see any way to cleanly balance the needs of the four groups
(two groups of packages, and two groups of users) without debconf.  With
debconf, it's laughably easy.  Apologies if I have the idea of the system
wrong :), but I think we just need to make a single template for all daemon
entries, then specify the daemon name and the default setting (on or off) in
each daemon.  To keep people who aren't interested in this from having to see
it, two things could be done.  First, all the daemon-starting questions should
have a higher priority than normal questions (I don't remember all the
priorities now, but say maybe 2 above the 'total newbie' level).  Second, an
additional option could be collected by the base packages (at the same priority
level) asking whether further daemon questions should be shown. (this might be a
little trickier)


  Going on about Dungeons and Dragons being tools of the devil is like guarding
the door while *it* is coming up through the floorboards...
  The Demon Lord of Hla'Siloth may want to cut your soul up into a thousand
pieces, but at least he won't try to convince you that you haven't got one.

  -- [ approximately ] Terry Pratchett, _Johnny and the Dead_

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