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

* Matt Zimmerman

 > 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.

  Of course, this question will be shown in the postinst, if the generated
 file differs from the previously generated one and the user has modified
 the one in /etc.

  I was more thinking along the lines of a question such as:

    You are upgrading from version 1.23 of package foo.  Starting from this
   version, the configuration file layout has changed drastically, and your
   old one cannot be used.  May I generate a new file based on your previous
   answers and autodetection tools, overwrite your old configuration file,
   and save the old one to /etc/foorc.dpkg-old?

  but I realise that's probably not what you had in mind.

* Tore Anderson

 >>   What am I missing?

* Matt Zimmerman

 > 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.

  I see your problem when you insist on asking on asking all questions at
 the configure stage -- personally, I don't think delaying the actual
 generating of the configuration file (and asking the question about
 overwriting the old file) to the postinst stage is *that* bad.

  All the other questions can be asked at configure phase, though.

Tore Anderson

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