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Re: dash bug which is affecting release goal

On Mon February 11 2008 03:39:06 Bas Wijnen wrote:
> > Why do you believe it is better for Debian to harm millions of Debian
> > users rather than simply using #!/bin/sh.minimal within Debian scripts?
> Because that's what Debian does: we fix things, even when they work
> while they are broken.  A script which says #!/bin/sh, but which really
> needs bash, is a bug.  Debian doesn't want those bugs.  This means a
> transition which is some work, but we'll do it.  Admins who wrote their
> own shellscripts may also need to check if they still work.  If they
> don't trust it, then they should just set their shell to bash again.
> Admins who maintain a system that cannot afford some downtime, and who
> refuse to read the release notes when upgrading... well, they deserve
> what they get, I think.

Debian has a policy which allows it to inflict this change on DD's, but
it is perfectly reasonable for Debian users to have determined that
/bin/sh was linked to bash and for Debian users to assume that /bin/sh
will not be changed for no good reason.

Furthermore, many tiny shell scripts are written by marginally technical
people, perhaps by copying and adapting something from a book or web page,
and they have no conception of the existence of different shell dialects
and would not think kindly of a distro that broke their little jewels for
no good reason.

DD's are welcome to spend as much effort as they choose in fixing this
non-bug in their own scripts, but sabotaging the millions of tiny scripts
written by Debian users is counter-productive, can only harm Debian's
reputation, and has no upside whatsoever.

Debian should use #!/bin/sh.minimal for its own scripts and not wantonly
break users' scripts; should not wantonly waste users' time in reviewing,
repairing, and retesting working scripts; and should not wantonly cause
outages, data loss, and data corruption - all of which are guaranteed
in large numbers because even the best of programmers make some mistakes
and a lot of tiny shell scripts in the big wide world are written by
people who are not the best of programmers.

--Mike Bird

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