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Re: "The Debian exim 4 packages suck badly" on exim-users@exim.org

On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 12:16:24 -0500, Greg Folkert <greg@gregfolkert.net> wrote:
> Debian is unpopular Many places where Debian has changed the "globbed"
> config. Many people HATE little bitty files to make things work. Me,
> best thing since Sliced Bread. Except I'd rather see --keepcomments as
> default and changed to --removecomments. My only gripe, pretty minimal.

As a general note, I find it annoying, frustrating, and confusing
whenever ANY debian
package has a substantially different installation or configuratin
mechanism than the
mechanism documented by the software publisher. 

Taking Exim as an *example* of this, when I installed Exim, and ran into some
problems configuring it the way I wanted, comparing the application
on the Exim website with what apt-get installed I found it utterly
different. The Exim
website gracefully acknowledged the Debian configuration mechanism as "elegant"
and then advised that if I needed help with it, I should contact the
debian distribution
owners. Maybe I missed some great documentation out there, but using Google, I
found no such documentation.

Exim is by no means the only package to do non-standard things, it seems like a
debian package maintainer's sole objective in life is to take a
perfectly reasonable

./make install

and do utterly wacked out things to it. The upside *may* be having a
debian system
that does things the "debian" way, which way is more "elegant" (or
more secure, a
perfectly laudable goal) -- but the downside is clearly that the
installation, and often
configuration support from the original software team is largely useless.

I am perfectly open to understanding why my frustrations with debian
packages are
(A) due to some ignorance of debian documentation, or (B) inherently
Currently, I feel they are (C) the cost of working with an otherwise excellent,
reliable, and philosophically congenial distribution.

Packages I expect to work closely with (ie., more than just
run-it-out-of-the-box) I
usually bypass the debian package system and get the manufacturer's



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