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Re: Debconf Templates Style Guide

Scripsit Christian Perrier <bubulle@debian.org>

> > There used to be, somewhere, a guideline that told maintainers to let
> > themselves be inspired by the descriptions in the kernel source's
> > "make fooconfig", especially with regard to telling the user what the
> > conservative default choice is. Many of the kernel option descriptions
> > do indeed say "If unsure, answer No" or the like. Or do I misremember?
> > If I'm right, then the relation between those two pieces of advice
> > should probably be clarified.

> Let's see in further discussion. However, there are very strong
> arguments against this :

Quite possibly. I'm not arguing either way - just proposing that if my
memory of the "make fooconfig" guideline is correct, a document such
as yours would be a good place to stress that is was not really a good
one. Of course I realise that it would help if I could remember
*where* I read that guideline. :-)

> >   The extended description should be able to stand on its own,
> >   *without* the short one. For example, the dialog frontend will
> >   sometimes choose to show the entire extended description first and
> >   only ask the actual question on a separate screen after the user has
> >   confirmed reading the extended one. This depends on the terminal
> >   size and the lenght of the extended description, so it may happen to
> >   users even if it does not happen to you.

> Hmmm, this is a good point. Well, for string/select/multiselect, this
> shoul dnot happen as extended descriptions should always ablance
> between verbosity and quality.

Sometimes a long extended description *is* necessary to enable the
user to make an informed choice. FWIW, the case where I encountered
this behavior was a Boolean choice - I have not checked whether it is
specific to certain question types.

Henning Makholm          "Jeg har tydeligt gjort opmærksom på, at man ved at
                   følge den vej kun bliver gennemsnitligt ca. 48 år gammel,
               og at man sætter sin sociale situation ganske overstyr og, så
           vidt jeg kan overskue, dør i dybeste ulykkelighed og elendighed."

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