Re: profile.d [was Re: UMASK 002 or 022?]
> Brian Mays wrote on Thu Jun 08, 2000 um 12:42:22PM:
> > Applications may rely on environment variables to *customize*;
> > however, it is a violation of Debian policy for applications to
> > require environment variables to work. If you had been around for
> > the previous
email@example.com (Eduard Bloch) writes:
> I though, it has been only the customisation which is discussed in
> this thread.
You appear to have confused the two things being discussed: (1)
customization by the administrator, and (2) customization by the package
maintainer. I advocate that Debian should encourage (1) by discouraging
> > Customization is the job of the local system administrator, who
> > should have no trouble editing /etc/profile.
> But it's trouble for beginners that don't know how to set variables
> and aliases. For these people there is no real help in Debian ...
If they don't take the trouble to learn how to customize their own
software when they should, they are beyond help altogether (IMHO).
> and it's also forbidden to modify /etc/profile, no matter if it's
> explicitly wished by the user/admin or not.
The administrator may modify /etc/profile to his heart's content.
There is nothing stopping him. Furthermore, there is nothing stopping
someone from writing a program that queries the user and writes part of
his /etc/profile (or $HOME/.profile) for him. In fact, such a program
already exists! See the dotfile-bash and dotfile-tcsh packages. These,
in my opinion, are far better solutions than some package manager
messing with the /etc/profile because he feels like it.
> > Packages should not *need* to set environment variables. All
> > applications in a package should work correctly, by default, without
> They don't need this, but it would make Debian more useable if some
> of them are set to better values than defaults! So why not allow some
> packages to modify the environment?
More usable? I'm sure that my idea of a "usable" environment is
different from yours? Who is right? Which "usable" environment should
we promote? These are the questions that popped up when this issue was
argued before, and believe me, an argument on this topic can go on for
days or weeks without resolution. The truth is that the Debian
community will never come up with a common customized environment that
will appeal to everybody.
I agree with Ethan Benson that a simpler environment by default is to be
preferred. One of the things that I liked about Debian when I first
tried it (coming from Slackware) was the it didn't come with a stupid
customized environment that I had to disable to effectively set up my
> But it were a solution which I personaly don't like and I would prefer
> setting of the common environment instead.
We have a common environment: the default environment. Furthermore, it
is more similar to environments of the other Unices than any other Linux
distribution (I think, can anyone confirm this?). That is what I call a
> > requiring *any* environment variables to be set. Therefore, no
> > package should need to set an environment variable.
> Once again: the packages don't depend on this variables, but the may
If the components of a package don't need an environment variable to be
set, then *why* should it set such a variable?