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

On 10-Mar-04, 11:41 (CST), Oliver Kurth <okurth@gmx.net> wrote: 
> Can ucf do changes to a config file while still preserving user changes
> and comments?

No, and it doesn't have to. All it has to do is provide the equivalent
of dpkg conffile handling[1]. And I believe it does that. What is needed
that *all* packages that generate configuration files (rather than
shipping conffiles) start using it (preferably with the "--three-way"
option, which adds a nice bonus to the basic dpkg conffile handling), or
otherwise *stop overwriting my local modifications*!

The problem is that many debconf-using packages re-generate the
configuration file on every update, without doing anything to check
whether or not the user has changed it.

Even with ucf, adding debconf solely to provide custom distributions
a handle to tweak still strikes me as a bad tradeoff. Right now, cron
ships with several conffiles. Shipping a file is pretty straightforward.
Changing that to generating them on the fly during the install, using
ucf or some other mechanism to avoid overwriting local changes, means
adding code to at least the postinst and postrm, which means ample
opportunity for mistakes. All this for the benefit of the relatively
few users of debian-whatever. 

It's really too bad dpkg-divert doesn't support conffiles. Then the
custom dists could create a specific whatever-configs package that had
the modified configuration files, diverting the originals. Yes, there
would be a maintenance burden, but there is in either case, and this
technique would put it where it belongs: on the maintainers of the
custom distribution.


[1] Short version: if upstream changes, and local is the same (md5sum)
as the previously distributed version, then overwrite. If local is
different, then ask. If upstream is the same as previously distributed,
don't replace local version.

Steve Greenland
    The irony is that Bill Gates claims to be making a stable operating
    system and Linus Torvalds claims to be trying to take over the
    world.       -- seen on the net

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