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Re: [custom] Custom Debian Distros need the help from debian developers

On Sun, Feb 15, 2004 at 03:31:34PM +0100, Thomas Viehmann wrote:
> Enrico Zini wrote:
> >>One of the obvious things that got asked multiple but that none of the
> >>'keep debconf promt'ers answered is: Why is it critical for you to have
> >>these defaults done with debconf as opposed to customizing config files?

> >>>The alternative is to replace or edit other packages files, and this
> >>>is error prone and hard to do within the current policy.

> > I should recall that Custom Debians are about creating a pre-configured,
> > 100%-true-debian-and-policy-compliant distribution.

> Nontheless it should be your goal to get policy adjusted to your needs
> not to encourage behaviour currently questionable.

There is nothing questionable about pre-seeding the debconf database.
Based on my own experience, I think debconf handling of the time server
settings is also quite reasonable.  The only bug in NTP's config
handling that I'm aware of is that local changes to the config file are
not preserved.  This is obviously a significant bug, but I'm
disappointed the maintainer has opted to drop debconf support rather
than fix it, given that the ntp config files are readily parsable using
shell tools.

(Incidentally, the NTP howto recommends configuring your machine to
consult *three* geographically proximate lower-stratum servers for best
results -- so it sounds like these new "reasonable defaults" contradict
the advice of upstream?)

OTOH, I'm quite certain that policy will never be changed to say "thou
shalt not touch the config files of other packages, unless you're
creating a CCD, then it's ok."  This part of policy exists for a very
good reason, and Enrico, Petter, and others are quite right to want to
avoid the problems that come with doing this.

> > The best solution Custom Debians came up so far to address this issue is
> > to pre-seed hidden debconf questions, which are set to priorities so low
> > that they never get asked.
> Yeah, but low is not the priority never asked.
> If you absolutely want to go with preseeded debconf values, maybe you
> could ask Joey to allocate a priority "invisible" (or whatever you want
> to call it) that is exclusively used to do CDD configuration where, as
> in the case of NTP, prompting *a user* is completely unneccessary.
> (I only searched the debconf bug list for "priority", so I'm not certain
> that you didn't.)

... your argument against the use of debconf is that questions at low
priority will sometimes be asked?  Um, anybody who runs debconf at low
priority gets exactly what they ask for.  Trying to create a separate
priority with the explicit intention that the questions will *never* be
asked would inappropriately overload debconf.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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