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hylafax-server frequently recurring bug: faxmodem: dev/FIFO: open: No such device. And others.

I'm looking to install fax software on a Debian system (laptop), and
took a look at hylafax.  It's fairly well regarded, and has been around,
seems like it ought to be a solid server.

The configuration tools are a mess.

I've done some significant tweaking of faxsetup, and it still doesn't
produce an entirely useable configuration, and not without complaining.
The script should likely be refactored from the top, converted to
autoconf, or scrapped and configs appropriate for Debian substituted.

Among the problems, several of which are noted in bug #154119 (143 days

  - gs is incorrectly located (/usr/local/bin rather then /usr/bin.  
  - In general, executable tests should utilize either the system path
    or a prespecified searchpath (eg: /usr/bin, /bin, /usr/sbin, /sbin,
    /usr/X11R6/bin, /usr/local/bin, /usr/local/sbin), and iteratively
    search this space.  The current config doesn't do this.

  - GS Font setup complains loudly over compiled-in font paths which
    don't exist, but doesn't indicate whether or not it's happy with the
    compiled in font paths which do exist.  This should be significantly
    modified -- most likely, checking all font paths, then complaining
    only if none appear suitable.  All font paths, whether extant or
    not, are added to the /etc/hylafax/hyla.conf configuration file.

    This is noted in bug 161192, 88 days old.

  - fuser is specified without path, then tested for existence with
    path.  A Google search notes several other users observing this, but
    no Debian BTS reports are found.

As I'm running a 'send only' part-time fax host, I ran the 'faxmodem'
configuration utility to add my PCMCIA modem to hylafax's config.  This
fails, I've submitted a bug report:


Disturbingly, this same bug looks to have been addressed at least twice
prior, in 1998, and 2001:

    May, 1997: #9292
    Feb, 2001: #84755
    Feb, 2001: #87870
    Apr, 2001: #94139
    Sep, 2001: #113849

There's been some talk in recent months about introducing regression
testing to Debian packaging.  Seems like hylafax-server would benefit
strongly from this.

We can do better than this.


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   GNU/Linux web browsing mini review:  Galeon.  Kicks ass.

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