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Re: /etc/mailname

On Tue, 26 Mar 2002, Josip Rodin wrote:

> > > > /etc# dpkg -S mailname
> > > > dpkg: *mailname* not found.
> > > 
> > > There is not a single package which is the only responsible for it> 
> > 
> > Ok So as I understand it, this file should be owned by the MTA.
> > It is disapointed to see a file in /etc owned by nobody, especially for
> > one so much used.
> What is it with "owning stuff"? Why are you so attached to dpkg -S working?
> Nobody ever said all files must be known to dpkg -S.

OK, let's forget dpkg -S.  I'll go another tack.

I decide to package something which has a totally different use for
a file not otherwise owned by a package, but which is on the system and used
by a bunch of packages (/etc/passwd, /etc/mailname et al are not good
examples, because they are specified by policy).  But anyway, I have this
hypothetical file which I want to use and which nobody else has a claim to

My program uses this file in a completely different way to whatever else
might already be out there.  However, since nobody else owned it (and,
presumably, I decided to take it under my package's wing - or even if I
didn't) there is no other package which can say "you're using it wrong".

Honestly, I think that every file, or at least sub-directory tree root, should
be owned by a package, except in very select circumstances.  There must be
good reasons for it not being so, but it's protection if nothing else.  If
you've claimed it, you have the authority and responsibility to mandate how
it may be used by other packages if they want to use it.  Without such
ownership, we're very much into the realm of 'common use', which is fine as
far as it goes, but it doesn't stretch as far as we'd like.

#include <disclaimer.h>
Matthew Palmer

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