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Re: misuse of debconf notes

On Wednesday, 31 Oct., Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org> wrote:

> FYI, I feel that both of the recently added pcmcia-cs debconf notes
> (about 2.4 kernels and network up ordering) are a misuse of the note
> datatype, which, as I state in the debconf tutorial, is for "something
> important, that the user really should see".

Okay.  I agree with you here (and with most of your original message).
For what it's worth, I really didn't want to add these notes, but I
became tired of receiving bug reports and complaints from idiot users
who do not read the package documentation.  All of these caveats are
sufficiently documented in /usr/share/doc/pcmcia-cs, but some people
feel that this is not enough.  (I even had one user complain that as a
new user, he did not know where to look for the package documentation.)

>From now on, I shall assume that it is standard policy in Debian that
documentation in /usr/share/doc/ is sufficient to provide warnings of
known problems (that is, for stuff that does not belong in man pages,
info pages, etc.).  Personally, I have always felt that this should be
the way to handle such things.

On another topic, Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org> added:

> While I would like to see a proper fix for the pcmcia-cs network up
> problem ..., and wonder why you think documenting it is good enough to
> warrent closing the bug, that is another topic.

Documenting it is all that I can do.  This is not a bug in the pcmcia-cs
package; therefore, there is nothing to be fixed.  The problem is caused
by other packages that I have no control over.  My package supports
the latest tools that have been developed for Debian.  Other packages
do not.  Bugs have been filed against many of these packages, and the
problem is fixed when these bug reports are closed.  My end is done.

> ... and it's odd that you don't mention the cardctl -f option which is
> another good way to deal with it ...

It is a broken way to fix the problem, and I would not like to encourage
its adoption by someone who does not understand the repercussions of its
use.  I would rather encourage users to set up their systems the right
way, with network services started by the PCMCIA system (or at least
initialized by the PCMCIA system), not by the usual init procedure.
Doing things the wrong way results in many more bug reports along the
lines of "my system freezes when I eject my network card."  I'd like to
avoid these reports.

Thank you for explaining the proper use of debconf notes.

- Brian

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