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Re: software updates file in /usr -- policy bug?

Anthony Towns wrote:
On Fri, Oct 29, 2004 at 10:14:08AM +0200, martin f krafft wrote:

Come on! The FHS regulates what normal software can/should do,
partially so that package managers can work reliably. dpkg is the
package manager, thus it is exempt from the FHS.

In fact, I should have been even clearer. The FHS applies to the
filesystem structure are run-time, not at installation time. It
guides the installation, but only such that when the installation
phase is complete, the system can switch to run-time and be
FHS-compliant from the start onwards.

That's not quite true -- dpkg can't stick stuff in /debian-rocks/bin and
claim to be FHS compliant. The key point is the distinction between who
is controlling the file, and what it's for: the vendor (us) puts stuff
in /usr, the admin puts software in /usr/local, and programs put their
data in /var, ~, or /srv, depending on what sort of data it is (internal,
personal work, or shared work).

Having apt-spy dpkg-divert the file in /usr on install, and replace it
with a symlink to a file in /var/lib, and then update the file in /var/lib
when invoked seems the obviously correct way to deal with this, no?

In the end, after my irritation at how the NMU was done abated, I just moved the file to /var/lib/apt-spy. Most people seemed to agree this was the correct location. Nothing else depends on the location of the file, so a symlink isn't required.

In a future version of apt-spy we might provide a config file which sets (among other things) where to get the file from. That then allows the network admin to set a location for his own version (the main reason it was in /usr/share in the first place) and then I think the file would be in the right place...for now it will do, although I don't think it's ideal.

Steven Holmes is looking to extend apt-spy's functionality to make it do a similar job for BSD mirrors and for other Linux distributions. A configuration file to modify behaviour will be part of this extension. I'm not going to upload this before etch (assuming it's even ready before then - how long is sarge's release likely to be?). Right now I don't want to make too many uploads of new features...I'd like a release sometime sooner rather than later after all :)


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