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Re: default MTA for sarge

Dr. Freshmaker <nathan@sdf.lonestar.org> wrote:
> On Tue, 15 Jul 2003, David Nusinow wrote:
>> One issue I have with exim4 vs. exim3 is that the exim4 config file
>> that is generated is not a conffile. Thus, with exim4, we're seeing
>> more of the managed configurations (see also XFree86 and tetex).

Exim4 is better because all the parts have dpkg-conffile(-like)
handling. Only the the result of
find | xargs cat | sed -e 's/$MAGIC/debconfvalue/' is in /var. Be
aware that we do not use debconf as black-magic db, but only to
properly manage a small sh-style configfile.

I do not know whether splitting was a good idea, personally I like it,
the alternative was a template-file (basically the result of
find /etc/exim4/conf.d/ | xargs cat ) in /etc/ and up-ex4.conf would
just do the sed -e 's/$MAGIC/debconfvalue/'

I still think this (small sh-style configfile + script +
template-file) is a sound method for debconfizing "unparseable"
files, the only two alternatives I can think of are worse:
* Manage file with debconf (and loose all user changes done to the
  file with $editor on every upgrade) [x] Yes [x] No
* Don't make the template file user-visible. On upgrades or
  dpkg-reconfigure generate a new finished file (merging
  template+debconf) and put the result under ucf's control.

The latter one (which I just invented) has two problems: You'll get
unwanted "new version of conffile" messages whenever you change the
debconf values and the fact that users will end up with
inconsistencies between debconf and the real file, because changes to
the file don't prpagate back to debconf. It is like editing
./configure instead of ./configure.ac

> I am not a developer (yet), so bear with me if I am missing something
> obvious, but if this is really the issue, then couldn't Andreas (exim4
> maintainer) package exim4 in such a way as to imitate, or at least
> approximate the old exim's configuration process?  Since all MTA's provide
> the same basic service, couldn't _any_ default MTA be made to look like
> exim from a configuration standpoint?

Basically exim4, postfix  and exim asks the same questions (via
debconf or eximconfig), but the backend has to be different.
            cu andreas

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