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Bug#108587: May packages rm -rf subdirectories of /etc/ ?

On Fri, 2003-07-25 at 07:59, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> 	Umm. apt allows you to determine reverse depends.  From there
>  there is an easy hop to sending email to ask the develoeprsa in
>  question; or to exaimine a package to look at its conffiles. 

This doesn't solve the problem of the dependent package being
broken by the removal of the conffile upon which it has been
depending.  A _new_ version of the dependent package may have
been released to the archive, but this is not the version that
the victim has installed on his computer.

Nick Phillips made a good point, however, when he said that
conffiles are no different from other files in this respect.
If bar depends on foo, then bar might be broken if _any_ file
is removed from foo.  Yet we do not do anything special when
foo version 2.0 lacks an ordinary file that was contained in foo
version 1.0.  So we should not do anything special for conffiles
either but (as Manoj Srivastava says) we should rely on
communication among maintainers to avoid problems.

Conffiles are different in one respect, which that is that they
can be locally modified.  When a conffile is to be overwritten
and it has been modified, the user is asked for permission and
the old version is backed up as *.dpkg-old.  So when a conffile
is to be deleted and it has been modified, the user should be
asked for permission and the file renamed to *.dpkg-old
(or *.dpkg-orphaned).  Agree?


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