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Bug#48717: dpkg: could be more useful wrt conffile diffs

Package: dpkg
Severity: wishlist

New dpkg proposes to show conffile diffs, which I find is a nice
feature.  However, it only shows the diffs between the current
settings (conffile) and new version (conffile.dpkg-new).

When possible (ie. conffile.dpkg-dist exists), I find that 2 diffs,
one between conffile.dpkg-dist and conffile, and the other between
conffile.dpkg-dist and conffile.dpkg-new, would be more useful.  That
is you will be able to look at your own changes, and at the
maintainer's changes.

As an example, when recently dealing with gdm.conf upgrade, I was able
to do:

# diff conffile.dpkg-dist conffile.dpkg-new >conffile.diff
# patch conffile <conffile.diff

(obviously, I tried "patch --dry-run" first ;)

This would advocate a copy of conffile to conffile.dpkg-dist on
install, so that the conffile mechanism can work at its best without
relying on the sysadmin to manually create the copy before editing a
conffile (which I try to always do myself, but happen to forget).

-- System Information
Debian Release: potato
Architecture: i386
Kernel: Linux bylbo 2.2.12 #1 Tue Oct 26 22:59:19 CEST 1999 i586

Versions of packages dpkg depends on:
ii  libc6                         2.1.2-6    GNU C Library: Shared libraries an
ii  libncurses4                   4.2-3.4    Shared libraries for terminal hand
ii  libstdc++2.10                 1:2.95.2-1 The GNU stdc++ library            

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