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Re: postgresql and debconf [Re: package and dpkg improvements to help autoinstallers]

On Tue, 2002-07-30 at 18:50, Oliver Elphick wrote:
> Though I have tried to make the process as smooth as possible, it is
> still necessary for a human installer to verify that the data dump has
> succeeded before the package postinst can safely proceed with the
> upgrade.  This necessitates non-debconf questions during the postinst
> (but only when a database upgrade is necessary).  Because of this, I
> have seen no point in changing the rest of the installation to use
> debconf.
> I would welcome ideas on how to improve this procedure.

Having gone through this procedure plenty of times myself, with about
50% of my databases failing to dump and reload cleanly enough to proceed
straightforwardly, I have to agree with your caution.

Indeed, I would go so far as to say it would be an improvement to remove
the automatic upgrade feature entirely, separating it out into a manual
procedure which could be run in a more leisurely manner (i.e. not in the
middle of trying to upgrade a production box from potato to woody... :-)

The current process of displaying the dump to the user is also somewhat
hit and miss.  On several occasions I have found it inconvenient to page
through 500MB of dump to find the seven records that didn't work, and I
need to resort to tools like grep and sed to fix things in between.

I guess I would like to see some sort of pg_prepare_upgrade and
pg_complete_upgrade scripts, which would allow for a hiatus in the
middle of the process for correcting problems with the dump files. If
this process was removed from the installation scripts then perhaps it
could maintain some sort of state that knew how far you had got, holding
your hand to move through to the next phase.

It is also possible that the upstream pg_upgrade utility will work for
7.3, but I certainly wouldn't hold my breath on that one :-)

Andrew @ Catalyst .Net.NZ Ltd, PO Box 11-053, Manners St, Wellington
WEB: http://catalyst.net.nz/        PHYS: Level 2, 150-154 Willis St
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