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Re: PROPOSAL: Extrafiles (was Re: Conffiles...)

Christian Schwarz <schwarz@monet.m.isar.de> writes:
> On Sat, 18 Apr 1998, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > On Fri, Apr 17, 1998 at 12:34:18AM +0200, Christian Schwarz wrote:
> > > I agree that the extra files should *not* be purged
> > > automatically.  However, dpkg should not forget about them.

> > I disagree.
> [snip]

> > What would dpkg's continued knowledge of removed packages' extrafiles
> > gain?

> If was thinking of the following: the current doc-base version
> creates some `extra files' in other package's /usr/doc
> directories--for example, the .dhelp files. Usually, the package
> should call doc-base in its prerm script and doc-base will remove
> these files again.  However, if either the maintainer forgot to call
> doc-base in its prerm script, or if there is a bug in doc-base,
> these files would be left on the system.

Christian, your theory may be sound (I don't know) but your example is
bad.  Actually, nowadays doc-base will allow multiple document ids
to merge into the same .dhelp file, and will even take a non-doc-base
.dhelp file and add some doc-base entries into it.

This is because while a doc-base docid is a single document, a dhelp
file is actually a *list* of documents in the current directory.  I
did not have a way to robustly manage the state of the impendence
between the two world-views in a way that would never break (I hate
safe guards that break so much more often than what they're guarding).
In reality, my solution, which is to add and remove entries from the
.dhelp list freely and not worry about where the file originally came
from is in fact much more robust, considering the types of errors and
instability there is on the whole.  (And as we all on debian-doc know
and pray, .dhelp files will go away soon enough anyhow.)

Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion on extra files and
policy. ;)

> Now, if doc-base would have a way to tell dpkg of these dynamically
> generated files, the user could query dpkg where these files came from and
> perhaps tell dpkg to remove these files.

Yes, this is probably most relevant, i.e., for automated or assisted
document conversion.  This raises the issue for me of whether a
package could add files to extra files *after* installation and
configuration had already occured?

.....A. P. Harris...apharris@onShore.com...<URL:http://www.onShore.com/>

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