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GConf in Debian Sarge


For the next release of Debian, codenamed Sarge, we (the GNOME Team) are
making some changes to the stock GConf install.  We thought we'd mail
you about them to see if they all look sensible to you, and to see how
many of these could be pushed into GNOME 2.8.

Firstly, we've a patch to gconfd[1] so that we can send a HUP signal to
force it to reload the configuration.  This happens in the postinst
script of any GConf-using package, and means the user doesn't have to
kill gconfd before the schemas are applied (which is the cause of many
bug reports).  The alternative is to send a TERM signal, but this is
rather evil.

Next, we're taking the plunge and moving the .schemas files from
/etc/gconf/schemas to /usr/share/gconf/schemas.  Files in /etc are
treated specially in Debian and dpkg will allow the user to keep the old
schemas instead of installing the new files, which is confusing and can
potentially break software.  We're going to implement this by moving the
schema files at package build-time.  It would be great if this change
was in GConf 2.8, as it should only need a patch to the
AM_GCONF_SOURCE_2 autofoo snippet (and then becomes a packaging issue).

Finally, we're going totally bonkers and relocating the installed
defaults/mandatory keys from /etc/gconf/ to /var/lib/gconf/defaults[2],
whilst keeping /etc/gconf/system.defaults for administrators to play
with.  The patches used to implement this are available online[3].  They
appear to work and results in full FHS-compliant GConf behaviour (also a
cause of several bug reports).

So, do these changes look good, and is there any real reason why they
cannot be integrated into GNOME 2.x?  Jeff Waugh has stated that he
doesn't see these as ABI-breaking patches to me, so can be in the 2.x
release set.

Ross (on behalf of the GNOME Team)
[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-gtk-gnome/2004/06/msg00186.html
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-gtk-gnome/2004/06/msg00195.html
[3] http://pkg-gnome.alioth.debian.org/debian/pool/g/gconf2/gconf2_2.6.1-4.diff.gz
Ross Burton                                 mail: ross@burtonini.com
                                          jabber: ross@burtonini.com
                                     www: http://www.burtonini.com./
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