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Re: Bug#379089: Configuration file shadowed?

Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> wrote:

> severity 379089 serious
> thanks
>         While it is true any file can be changed to change behaviour
>  for TeX (like things can be changed in /usr/include/foo.h to change
>  behaviour of a -dev package), any file with a name *.cnf is meant to
>  be a configuration file, and must, in order to meet policy
>  requirements, live under /etc. 

I am not convinced things are as clear-cut as you see them.  Please read

First of all, please note that the sentence in the TeX Policy talks
about "TeX input files", there are other files in a TeX system that are
clearly configuration files, and are installed in /etc/texmf, anyway.
In fact, in a sense (following the TeX Policy's spirit instead of its
letter, which may be suboptimal) the file in question is not a TeX input
file, so we should have installed it in /etc/texmf/web2c even with our
current Policy.

One point that is unclear to me is this phrase from the Debian Policy:

|Typically, configuration files are intended to be modified by the
|system administrator (if needed or desired) to conform to local policy
|or to provide more useful site-specific behavior.

Most of the files in question (not the one that raised this thread, I
admit) are rather meant to be changed by individual users to fit their
needs,  or even on a per-document basis.  A site-wide change on a real
multi-user system won't make sense.


I believe that we need to rephrase the TeX Policy.  But this requires
not just to specifiy that each "cfg" file must be in /etc.  Instead, I
think we need to find a distinction between

- files that can be used to modify the behavior of programs, and/or
  files that make sense to customize site-wide behavior on a multiuser
  system (I just cannot find an example of a file that would only
  fulfill the second half of the sentence)

  => must go to /etc

- files that can be used to modifiy the typesetting of documents

  => should not go to /etc

What do you think?

Regards, Frank

Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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