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Re: stop the "manage with debconf" madness

On Fri, Apr 18, 2003 at 09:28:07AM -0500, Steve Greenland wrote:
> On 16-Apr-03, 18:08 (CDT), Colin Walters <walters@debian.org> wrote: 
> > Debconf is NOT a license to overwrite user's configurations!  

> You've correctly identified the problem.

> > 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.

> But that's not the solution.

> Debconf is *NOT* a general purpose configuration tool. Debconf is
> *ONLY* a standardized way of interacting with the user during package
> installation, for configuration values that *CANNOT* be reasonably
> defaulted.

If the package maintainers are correctly using the debconf priorities,
and the admin has chosen a debconf priority that accurately reflects
their preferences, why do you care?  By definition, any prompts at
priority medium or lower have reasonable defaults, so unless they're
shown to the admin *at his choice*, and the admin actively *chooses* a
non-default value, the configuration file won't be changed anyway.

Now, if there are questions being asked at priority high or higher that
have reasonable defaults, those are bugs.  I've had a few of these
myself, but no worries -- file and fix, and move on.  OTOH, if you're
running debconf with a priority preference of medium or lower... RTFM.

> That's it. Any other use is a clear violation of Debian configuration
> file policy. In particular, using debconf to modify existing
> configuration files, whether conffiles or not, is wrong.

This claim is not reflected in our actual policy.  It's perfectly valid
for a maintainer script to make changes to non-conffile config file in
response to a user's expression of assent.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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