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Re: [david@eelf.ddts.net: Re: why do we care about configuration files?]

On Fri, 2003-04-18 at 15:16, David B Harris wrote:
> On Fri Apr 18, 11:15am -0400, Colin Walters wrote:
> > Perhaps I've been overly strong with the rhetoric.  Let me give two
> > realistic scenarios where this "manage foo with debconf?" fails.
> I like your two real-world examples, and I'd like to present a third.

Your case is also one we'd like to tackle, I agree.

> This user will likely feel the same way about almost all
> debconf/postinst-managed configuration files, excepting the few which he
> knows will break repeatedly. He doesn't want to get asked 50 "may I
> overwrite your file?" questions each upgrade. 

I don't think anyone does :)

> I liked the concept behind your suggestion of "managed" and "unmanaged"
> configuration files. I would, however, suggest a slightly different
> interface:
> 1) Package has a configuration file which can (optionally) be managed
>    debconf/postinst

This is already the way things are now; a package doesn't have to do
anything special to create configuration files in its postinst.

> 2) Package's .config asks, *once* (respecting debconf "seen" flag), the
>    following question:

Uggg.  We should be extremely hesitant about changing
/etc/conffiles/{managed,unmanaged,default} in maintainer scripts.  I
mean they exist solely *because* of the problems of changing
configuration files in maintainer scripts :)

I don't think we should use Debconf to prompt on each package
installation like this.  Your proposal would make the "medium" debconf
priority far more painful than it is even now.  Just think about how
many prompts you'd have to go through on an initial installation.  It
would be at least a hundred.

Basically, it seems to me that in your use case, the user could just:
echo managed > /etc/conffiles/default

And then explicitly list those files they want to keep unmanaged in

Now, it would be nice if at the end of a package installation run, dpkg
said something like:

The following new configuration files have been installed:

That way if you see something you want to maintain yourself, you drop it
into /etc/conffiles/unmaanaged.

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