deb-cfmgr: Debian conffile prompting tool.
About a week or so, I announced on debian-devel a project to write a
program that asks the user about changed conffiles. It was described
in the first message in the thread "Less interactive upgrades".
Well, I've finished the basic tool, and it seems to be working. I
still need to do more testing, as well as write a few frontends for
it, but I think the time is ripe to consider how best to integrate
Since dpkg is a fundamental part of the system, I think that a
principle of minimal changes applies. So, I suggest that the best way
of doing this would be to give dpkg the ability to exec a program that
can handle resolving the question of whether or not a conffile should
be replaced. As a first concept, dpkg could use a command line option
to determine the program to use, and use the exit value of that program
to make the decision, using the existing prompt if the program
execution fails or the return value is unknown or something else bad
I don't think me just blazing in and coding this is the right way to
handle things, but I do think that adding this functionality would
make an improvement in the user experience of Debian.
So I'd like to know what everyone thinks. Should I implement it,
should someone more experienced with the dpkg codebase implement it,
or is there a better way of handling this? (I don't think that coding
support for my specific solution into dpkg is the right way to handle
this... but it's still an option.)
deb-cfmgr, as I'm calling the program now, will be released under the
GPL once I finish the curses interface, testing, copyrighting, and
documenting the program. (Figure sometime next week.)
 I'm considering using debconf, but I'm not quite sure how well
that would deal with questions that change on every invocation. It
currently uses it's own method for user interaction, with a console
and soon a curses version.
Tom Rothamel --------- http://onegeek.org/~tom/ ------- Using GNU/Linux
Writing from home, just outside Northport, NY.
The Moon is Waning Gibbous (67% of Full).