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Re: Debconf or not debconf

On Wed, 2003-07-02 at 14:00, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> > It does not belong in debconf.  Put it in the changelog -- users who
> > want to know what's changing on their system should be looking there
> > anyway, and tools such as apt-listchanges make it easier and ever to
> > access changelog information.
> This kind of thing would go in the hypothetical NEWS.Debian, but
> unfortunately I haven't gotten around to implementing support for it in
> apt-listchanges yet.

Having just implemented support for NEWS.Debian in apt-listchanges (see
192089), and being generally against debconf notes, I disagree that in
this case debconf should be avoided. This is not news; it requires
changes from the system administrator.

Joey Hess has mentioned, and I agree (see 199722), that debconf notes
should really be named (and should always be interpreted as) warnings.
One example we discussed during Debconf 2 was that of database software
which, because of a format switch, requires a dump and re-load. In that
case a warning is all you can provide, as there is no way to
automatically find and convert all databases on a machine.

This is a similar situation. There is, by the admission of the
maintainer, no good way to convert between the 'old way' of running
stunnel and the new way. Should this truly be the case, debconf should
be used to warn the admin that stunnel will need configuration changes
before it will function.

Now, I agree that there should be some method of not breaking the
configuration. But, if there truly is no way to avoid breakage, Debconf
is the correct method of informing the administrator of this fact.

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