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Re: Bug#391246: general: Buildds should consider changing $HOME

Ian Jackson <ian@davenant.greenend.org.uk> wrote:

> On Wed, OcFt 04, 2006 at 09:32:16AM +0200, Frank Küster wrote:
>> However, I'd like to point out that this problem is not special to TeX.
>> Many programs create ~/.progname directories when run for the first time
>> - and these directories contain configuration options which might cause
>> trouble, since they are not updated or subject to dpkg conffile
>> questions when the package changes configuration options.  It might be a
>> good thing to require such tools to have a commandline switch or obey a
>> commandline variable that prevents this.  Alternatively, HOME could be
>> set to the temporary build directory, so that everything happens there.
> It seems to me that a package build should not
>  * depend on $HOME not containing reasonable settings
>  * change anything in $HOME
> If the package runs some program which spews droppings all over $HOME,
> or which might malfunction if the user has an unusual personal
> configuration, then it should set $HOME itself.

Yes, that's the ideal solution.  In the real world, my suggestion may
improve the situation faster.

Just got an other idea, slower too, but makes the "ideal solution" more
realistic:  Someone writes a tool analogous to piuparts, but not for
install/upgrade, but for package building.  This tool would check
whether any tool used in the build process does nasty things, like
accessing $HOME, communicating over the network, assuming existence of
particular files in /sys or /proc, and the like.

(No, I'm not qualified to write such a tool)

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

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