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lossless config file parsing

On Wed, 2004-03-10 at 10:09, Andreas Metzler wrote:
> Oliver Kurth <okurth@gmx.net> wrote:
> > On Wed, 2004-03-10 at 09:17, Steve Greenland wrote:
> >> I suspect that proper use of ucf solves the problem, and gives
> >> conffile-like handling to non-conffiles. But until use of ucf for
> >> "debconf-ized" packages is mandated, it won't be sufficient.
> > Can ucf do changes to a config file while still preserving user changes
> > and comments?
> > Sorry, I have read the documentation, but it has not made it clear to
> > me.
> [...]
> No it cannot. ucf offers *dpkg-like* conffile managment for
> configuration files that are not shipped in the deb but are generated
> at install time, i.e. you get "file foo changed. ... Y or I  : install
> the package maintainer's version, ...".

Okay, thank you for the information. The reason I ask is that I am
thinking about another approach to make conf file handling easy, and
make changes with frontends (like web frontends, debconf, GUIs)
possible. See
for the idea. The idea has already evolved a bit since I wrote that
diary entry. I already have some code that I will put online, after I
wrote some minimal documentation.

So far it is possible to change /etc/network/interfaces, preserving
comments and unknown options; and very simple shell scripts that just
set variables, as they are common in /etc/default/.

It is an experiment, and may very well fail, but I would like to hear
some comments.


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