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Re: guaranteed non-interactive installation and upgrades

On Sat, Dec 07, 2002 at 03:56:47PM +0100, Eduard Bloch wrote:
> I think we should document this in the policy and force maintainers,
> following this simple rule. When DEBIAN_FRONTEND value is Non-Interactive,
> no question should interrupt the installation process. Really none.

yeah, i REALLY agree with that.  this summer i was messing around
with various automatic upgrades of software using things like 
dpkg --[gs]et-selections and debconf-communicate, and was very annoyed
whenever i came across a package which completely ignored my requested
non-interactive settings.  for example exim (the default mta) doesn't
use debconf and instead in the preinst (?) script asks you the questions
it wants (the 1-5 questionnaire).  also, the ispell package asks you
which language you use by default.  it wouldn't be so hard for these
packages to ask the same things in debconf, or at least respect your
debconf settings, and considering that they ship with stock debian you'd
think that they'd have already done so...

> Same for the debconf questions with priority=critical. Show me one such
> setting where the answer cannot be determined automaticaly.

even in those cases, which i think could arguably exist (though i can't
think of any off the top of my head) there could be a way to respect
non-interactive and keep things running happy.  these few
packages could pre-depend on mail-transport-agent and in their
postinst script send an email to root saying "this is a critical
package that may break your system if you don't configure it and
i couldn't autofigureout what to do, so please set "this" or "that".

just some thoughts

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