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Re: Advice on how best to handle non-backwards compatibility

On Wed, Jan 07, 2004 at 05:55:11PM +0000, Henning Makholm wrote:
> Scripsit Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net>
> >> On 2004-01-07 13:55 +1000, Andrew Pollock wrote:

> >>> I'm wondering how best to proceed. I'm not sure that I can
> >>> on-the-fly convert the printcap. I'm thinking the best thing I can
> >>> do is detect this situation, and pop up a Debconf note alerting
> >>> the user to the situation,

> > Debconf notes DO NOT excuse RC bugs, and torching existing config files
> > (/etc/printcap is a config file) is an RC bug!

> Who spoke about torching the file?

> > If a tool cannot properly handle the non-trivial task of parsing
> > well-formed printcap files, then we should not be shipping such crap, no
> > matter how pretty the interface might look.

> As long as it can edit the files it itself generates, it is a useful
> tool for new users.

> That it cannot read files other tools (or older versions of itself)
> generates should be treated as a bug, but I don't see how it could get
> a severity higher than "important" - except perhaps the "in the
> maintainer's opinion" part of "serious".

I have seen many, many tools for handling printcap files which Do The
Wrong Thing with entries they don't understand.  If the worst that
happens with this particular tool is that it refuses to edit a file it
doesn't understand, then that's no big deal; but the discussion up to
this point hasn't made it clear what lprngtool's behavior is when
handling a printcap file it didn't create.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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