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Re: debconf vs. the sysadmin

>>>>> "Mark" == Mark Brown <broonie@tardis.ed.ac.uk> writes:

    Mark> One thing you can try to do is to have the debconf config
    Mark> script try to set itself up with the values in the
    Mark> configuration file and only update the bits of the
    Mark> configuration file it understands.  This is revolting, very
    Mark> hard for many kinds of configuration file and error-prone
    Mark> but it should generally do what the user expects until we
    Mark> start getting multiple debconf databases.

What I would like (not that I have heaps of time), is some formal way
of altering config files, but without leaving all the work to the
package maintainer. It would have to be done in such a way to cope
with any format, and with unexpected user customisations.

Thinking out loud here, not sure if this would really work:

What if you had some file that described the format of the config
file, eg

<file name="/etc/lynx.cfg">
  <config search="/^STARTFILE:(.*)$/" debconf="lynx/defaulturl"/>

which, for instance, would say how put the value of debconf into the
STARTFILE: config setting for lynx.cfg, without affecting anything

While this simple example wouldn't work everywhere (eg bind and
apache), I think it demonstrates the point I am trying to get across.
Brian May <bam@debian.org>

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