Package: laptop-net Severity: serious I just installed "laptop-net", becuase it looked similar to something I'd like to work on. The first thing it asked me was whether I wanted to "manage" its configuration file with Debconf, and it defaulted to "yes"! This behavior needs to stop, now. It is a violation of Policy, section 11.7.3, which states that local changes must be preserved during a package upgrade. Debconf is NOT a license to overwrite user's configurations! Yes, I am quite aware that XFree86 does this. We as a project have accepted that XFree86 does it because parsing XF86Config perfectly and preserving changes is very difficult. But that doesn't mean that every package can do it. And hopefully the X maintainer is working on a solution for XFree86. First of all, these questions CANNOT default to yes. If my debconf priority is higher than the question, then I won't even see it, and I won't know that I've just given the package a license to destroy my local changes. I propose a different solution to this problem, which conforms much more with policy, while still allowing debconf to be used as much as possible. In my fontconfig packages, /etc/fonts/local.conf is a configuration file (not a conffile). When the in fontconfig.config, I check to see whether that file exists. If it does, then I don't ask any questions at all. That way we never overwrite their config file. Now, I also have special support for "dpkg-reconfigure". Inside fontconfig.conf, I check to see if $1 is "reconfigure". If it is, and /etc/fonts/local.conf exists, then I warn the user that continuing will overwrite all their changes. The default is no. Now, it might be nice to have generic support in debconf for handling configuration file overwriting. So I could say like: db_overwrite_warning /etc/fonts/local.conf And debconf would handle the prompt, so we wouldn't have to have to handle it individually in each package. Or maybe we could have a separate file like debian/fontconfig.debconf_config_files. But that's just making things a bit nicer. In the meantime, I will be filing serious bugs against packages which have "manage with debconf" prompts (except XFree86), ESPECIALLY the ones which default to yes.
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