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Re: profile.d [was Re: UMASK 002 or 022?]

On Tue, Jun 13, 2000 at 07:08:31AM +0000, Marc Haber wrote:
> On Sat, 10 Jun 2000 04:39:54 -0800, Ethan Benson <erbenson@alaska.net>
> wrote:
> >easy:
> >
> >cat > /var/news/newdotfiles
> You must be kidding.

not at all, i see 3 obvious ways to communicate system news to users:

1) email to all (waste of disk space)
2) motd (limited length since its never piped through a pager)
3) system news, add /usr/bin/news to /etc/profile and drop the
messages in /var/news/.  

of course clueless users will ignore all 3.  but what can you do about
clueless users?  (rmuser hehe)

> I am not talking about dpkg doing this itself, but a program that uses
> a similiar heuristic like dpkg does for config files.
> "/etc/skel/.bashrc has changed, but ~/.bashrc does already exist. Do
> you want to K)eep your version or U)pdate to the new version?"

more like K)eep, O)verwrite, D)iff.  i don't see any sane way to
really merge /etc/skel/.foo with ~/.foo without creating a really
broken mess, you have no idea at all what the user has done in that

personally i think the following will occur with this method:

cluefull users will likely be annoyed, they know how to edit thier own
fscking environment thank you very much.  these users would prefer
such things to be communicated with the regular system status messages
(howver that is implemented, see above) 

clueless users probably have never edited thier environment and are
not even aware there are half a dozen or more files starting with . in
there $HOME.  if they are halfway clueful and are aware and have made
some changes they will likely just call tech support and fret about
this program wanting to trash thier .dotfiles. 

i tend to think a better solution to this is for inexperienced users
who generally cannot edit thier environment properly should have
.bashrc et al be symlinks to /etc/skel/.bashrc, if they are/become
knowledgabe to deal with this themselves they can rm the symlinks and
copy the /etc/skel/ version to thier ~/ and edit it.   this should be
a local sysadmin configuration however.  debian should assume
users/admins are clueful and without need for such `helpfullness' 

Ethan Benson

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