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Re: debconf as a registry

On Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 07:10:23AM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> Bas Wijnen wrote:
> (1)
> > It's not about overwriting.
> (2)
> > The point is that debconf will use its own
> > cache for defaults, which means that running dpkg-reconfigure and then
> > pressing enter on all but the thing you're interested in changing should
> > not make any changes on those items, but does in fact reset them back to
> > whatever the answer was that debconf last saw.
> Since these 2 statements seem to me to directly contradict one-another,
> I suspect I don't understand you, or you don't understand something.

Debconf actively overwriting values is slightly different from it giving
you a wrong default which it then allows you to set to the desired value
again.  The former is overwriting, the latter is just very annoying.

Then again, with debconf's priority scheme, it may well happen that the
default is used without asking the question, so I suppose there isn't
that much difference.

> > AFAICS, debconf shouldn't actually have a cache at all.
> It's hard to imagine that preseeding would work without it.

Ah yes, I hadn't thought of that.  But what is required for preseeding
is to provide a database to debconf for one-time use.  Since there is a
cache, it can be used for that, but there is no reason that this
provided database has to persist after the question was asked.

Not that I'm suggesting to remove the cache; it's just an observation
that whenever it is used, it is a bug.  For preseeding, that statement
isn't true.  But I don't find it hard to see preseeding work without it
(which doesn't mean you have to waste your time on implementing that).


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