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Re: Proposed handling of generated configuration files (Re: stop the "manage with debconf" madness)

On Sun, Apr 20, 2003 at 01:05:18AM +0200, Tore Anderson wrote:

>   As far as I know, ucf is created exactly for this purpose; to mimic
>   dpkg's conffile handing.  I assume you want to know if the configuration
>   file is unmodified prior to asking all the debconf questions, and making
>   use of such a command in the ucf package would unfortunately require a
>   pre-dependency.

A pre-dependency?  We're talking about .config here, not .preinst.  As was
explained in detail, there is no way to get access to tools in non-essential
packages from .config.

>  However, such a test would be very simple (basically just checking if the
>  md5sum of the configuration file matches the one recorded in ucf's
>  hashfile), so it could easily be included in the config script.

As was explained in detail, in order to do anything useful with that
information, it is necessary to be able to show the user the proposed
changes to the configuration file.  It is completely unhelpful to say:

"You have modified this configuration file, and it has also been updated by
the package maintainer.  Do you want to replace it with the version provided
by the package maintainer?"

Without showing the user the new version.

>   What am I missing?

Generating configuration files using non-Essential tools (including tools
contained in the package being configured), the preference to ask all
questions at preconfiguration time, and the necessity of displaying proposed
changes before asking the user to confirm them.

 - mdz

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