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Re: we need more variation for conffiles

On 18-Feb-00, 17:30 (CST), Atsuhito Kohda <kohda@pm.tokushima-u.ac.jp> wrote: 
> From: Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org>
> >         So asking the user when you have badly broken a conffile is
> >  should not happen bery often. In fact, hardly ever. And then asking
> >  and letting the user decide is not asking too much of the user. These
> >  are extraordinary circumstances, after all.
> I might find the basic difference between you and me.
> Perhaps you think mainly of the cases where a conffile is 
> broken by accident, but I think mainly of the cases where
> a maintainer refines a conffile in a smart way and it needs
> to replace the old conffile with the new one in order to
> use the refined capability.

I think mainly of the cases where the user's changes should not be
overwritten i.e. all of them. The cases you are talking about (when the
user should be strongly encouraged to upgrade their conffile, whether
due to accidental screwup or new functionality) are quite rare, and
implementing significant (and in my mind opinion, potentially confusing)
new functionality in dpkg to deal with a 1% case seems like a bad idea.

Remember, the question only arrises if the user *has* modified their
conffile -- I'd wager that most users don't modify most of their

As Manoj has pointed out, the functionality you want is almost certainly
applicable only for particular version-pairs of upgrades. You'll want
to explain to the user why it's such a good idea to upgrade their
conffile, which (at present) means specific mods to the postinst or
debconf configuration. It's relatively easy to implement in a script
(e.g if oldver <= x and newver >=y then show message;) (and yes, I've
done it that way). The new version of the conffile will be present
(foo.dpkg-dist), which makes it easy for the sysadmin to compare,
contrast, and merge. The current mechanism allows the admin to diff the
files when the question is asked, and answer Y if he/she so desires.


Steve Greenland <vmole@swbell.net>
(Please do not CC me on mail sent to this list; I subscribe to and read
every list I post to.)

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