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Re: Asking Debconf questions about database data

hi phillip,

On Sat, Aug 06, 2005 at 01:08:57PM +0200, Philipp Kern wrote:
> what's the common practise if a package gets purged and depends on
> user-supplied data in a database? In this case these are DNS zones (it's
> about `mydns-mysql'). Currently there is a Debconf question in postrm,
> which is definitely wrong because I cannot rely on Debconf being
> installed at purge time. So I wanted to move it to prerm, but then I
> don't know if the package is really purged.
> Should one ask such a question at all? And if so, upon installation? I
> personally feel that it should be presented on removal if at all
> possible because then the user really knows what he wants to do. The
> policy itself is about removing all configuration files on purge, but
> does this include user data like supplied DNS records?

i think it's kind of pointless to ask such a question at install time.
because Debian Is Not A Registry(tm) you have no guarantee that the
debconf responses won't be nuked off before the package is removed

i think the best thing to do is to default to not removing the data, and
then at either removal or purge time *try* to ask via debconf, and only
if the question is successfully asked and positively responded should
you remove the data.

i touch on this in the "best practices for database applications" draft
i've been working on[1], but it's currently one of the points left open for
further discussion.  if you feel like condensing the general consensus
into a paragraph or two to go into this document, i'd be appreciative.


[1] http://people.debian.org/~seanius/policy/dbapp-policy.html

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