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Re: lintian and (non-)conffiles in /etc

From: Henrique de Moraes Holschuh <hmh@debian.org>
Subject: Re: lintian and (non-)conffiles in /etc
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 23:11:59 -0200

> On Tue, 13 Nov 2001, Atsuhito Kohda wrote:
> > > Yes. If you include a configuration file (and thus any /etc file) inside the
> > > .deb, it MUST be marked a conffile.
> > 
> > I doubt this.  On the contrary, Policy says as follows;
> > 
> >      The distinction between these two is important; they are not
> >      interchangeable concepts.  Almost all `conffile's are configuration
> >      files, but many configuration files are not `conffiles'.
> It says nothing about files shipped inside .debs. Many configuration files
> are not conffiles, but in that case they must NOT be shipped within a deb,
> they must be created by maintainer scripts.

Yes, I know that there might be files which are not conffiles
and are created by maintainer scripts.

I did it with lynx-cur ;-)

> It is a sadistic QA failure to have stuff inside a deb that goes in /etc and
> is not marked as a conffile (you will be called a moron or worse by people
> rightfully pissed at their configuration files being silently overwritten),
> and a LARTable QA serious offense to change anything marked as a conffile in
> maintainer scripts (because dpkg will keep annoying the users at every
> upgrade -- see past incarnations of the lynx (and I'm ashamed to say, my own
> fetchmail) package for reference).

The lynx case was a bit different issue, IMHO.

lynx defined lynx.cfg as conffile and tried to overwrite
it by maintainer script.  This was obviously wrong but definitely
irrelevant to the present issue, i.e. whether all files in /etc 
are conffiles or not.

> If you manage to convince me policy says otherwise, I will have a policy
> proposal to fix such an atrocious failure by the next day -- we have already
> changed policy to make damn sure it was against policy to ship stuff in /etc
> not marked as conffiles.  

No, I did not try to convince you policy says otherwise
but, at least to me who is not a native English speaker,
it sounds that policy does not say clearly that all files
in /etc should be conffiles.

On the contrary it looks to me that policy says small subset
of the files in /etc are conffiles.

And the statement on the difference between configuration
files and conffiles seems very confusing.

Best regards,		       2001.11.13

 Debian Developer & Debian JP Developer - much more I18N of Debian
 Atsuhito Kohda <kohda@debian.org>
 Department of Math., Tokushima Univ.

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