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RFC: Proposal to improve package configuration upgrades


The other day, I was upgrading cups and dpkg did ask me the usual way
if I wanted to keep my cups config file or take the upstream version.

Like always, I asked for a diff and was quite puzzled because I did
not remember anything about editing this file. Then I remembered that
I did a modification through cups admin web interface.

Previous common story you might say. But for a casual user (like my
mother-in-law which now use Debian Lenny ;-) ), this can be
- I did modify the config through a nice web interface
- during the upgrade, I either have to look at all the gory details of
  cupsd config file or I have to loose my configuration.

I was thinking that this is a typical case where package upgrade
could be better handled with Config::Model help.

So, I've written a wiki page [1] that explains:
- how configuration upgrade are managed by Config::Model
- how to implement such upgrades with Approx example:
  * create a configuration model for approx.conf
  * the patch required for approx package scripts
- how to use a new dh_ tool that will simplify setup of configuration
  upgrade for package based on debhelper (dh_config_model_upgrade). A
  patch for openssh-server is provided.
- the bonus (config GUI)
- the current limitations (*)

To approx and openssh maintainers: Is there something missing that would
prevent you to use Config::Model for your package ?

Other package maintainers: what do you think ? Can this be applied to the
configuration of your packages ?

You can either reply to this mail or directly edit the wiki page [1].

All the best

[1] http://wiki.debian.org/PackageConfigUpgrade

(*) Manoj, I have not attempted a model for sendmail... ;-)

Dominique Dumont 
"Delivering successful solutions requires giving people what they
need, not what they want." Kurt Bittner

  domidumont at irc.freenode.net
  ddumont at irc.debian.org

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