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Re: Removing former conffiles

Don Armstrong <don@debian.org> wrote:

> On Tue, 07 Feb 2006, Frank Küster wrote:
>> Don Armstrong <don@debian.org> wrote:
>> > Right. The problem is that it's not always easy to know if the file
>> > will no longer be read at all; you can't assume that the administrator
>> > has left in place your default configuration system.
>> Of course the maintainer should know their package.  If the binary reads
>> a configuration file in /usr/share/bla, and in the old version there was
>     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> This would be a problem.

Why?  What problem?

>> a symlink from /usr/share/bla/bla.conf to /etc/bla/bla.conf, but now
>> the file is generated from files in /etc/bla/conf.d, sits in
>> /var/lib/bla, and the symlink points there, it's safe to assume that
>> /etc/bla/bla.conf is unused.
> The issue here is that you've suddenly changed the way the system
> works, so perhaps the proper method is to move /etc/blah/bla.conf into
> /etc/bla/conf.d/ instead; at the very least you should move the users
> configuration away into a backup position or something rather than
> deleting it if they have made changes.

I never talked about deleting it.  In some cases we indeed managed to
transfer it.  There might be others where it isn't possible.

It might also be that the binary simply stops looking for that
particular conffile because the configuration options are obsolete. 

>> In some cases, yes. We have cases in teTeX where there are only two
>> alternatives: Either accept the change, or not install the
>> debianized package at all and go for /usr/local/ instead.
> That seems like a bug to me; it may not be easy to fix in tetex, but
> it's definetly not the ideal situtation for a package.

Go ahead and submit bugs, and we'll discuss whether there's a better
solution.  One example:

TeX input files are found in any path ("TEXMF tree") defined in the
TEXMF variable.  We had to move teTeX's files from /usr/share/texmf
(which continues to be a TEXMF tree for other packages) into
/usr/share/texmf-tetex, and consequently we need to add this new tree
into the list in the variable TEXMF.

If the user refuses this change upon upgrade, what other choice do we
have?  We check for it in postinst and bail out before trying to do any
configure work which will fail for sure.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX)

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