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Re: Can /usr/share/doc/<pkg> be deleted on upgrade ?

On Sat, Nov 28 2009, Jesús M. Navarro wrote:

> Hi, Ben:
> On Saturday 28 November 2009 08:59:13 Ben Finney wrote:
>> "Jesús M. Navarro" <jesus.navarro@undominio.net> writes:
>> > Not personal but sysadmin related. When I want to find information
>> > about a given package I go to /usr/share/doc/<pkg> so I find
>> > reasonable that the local sysadmin would add notes about the package
>> > right there if needed.
>> No, I don't think that's reasonable. The ‘/usr’ hierarchy (with the
>> important exception of ‘/usr/local’) should be considered entirely the
>> province of the package management system; any files there can appear or
>> disappear as dictated by the packages.
>> The sysadmin's site-local files should be going under ‘/usr/local’,
>> which *is* out of bounds for the package manager.
> Strongly questionable: notes about package emacs, installed via package 
> manager might go under /usr/share/doc/emacs, why not.

        Why not? Because it is not safe, that's why. There is no
 guarantee made by Debian that your files shall not be stomped on, or
 that user data will be preserved.

>> > Less surprise path.
>> That's the benefit of following standards like the FHS: there are places
>> like ‘/usr’ that can be managed entirely by the package manager. Anyone
>> surprised by that isn't following established convention.
> Quite a strong asumption given that FSH doesn't say a word *at all* about 
> package managers.

> a) Nothing is said about /usr being "package manager's-only realm".
> b) Nothing prevents the administrator to peruse /usr/share/doc/ from including 
> architecture-independent data regarding whatever is installed, specially if 
> its about something root-based (in contrast to local-based).
> c) deleting whole directories disregarding their contents is not what Debian 
> usually does.

        But Debian also does not tell you that your file will be there
 with the next upload. If you name your file foo.txt, there is nothing
 that guarantees that the next version will not have an empty file
 called foo.txt in that dir in /usr. Nothing checks to see i there is a
 user file there. And, by the same token, when the next+1 version
 removes foo.txt, dpkg will happily remove it.

        So, the user is well advised not to trust any  user  data under
 /usr/share, should be using /usr/local anyway. Given that, while a
 trifle odd, I see nothing wrong in removing and recreating
 /usr/share/doc/<pkg> with every install.


Grinnell's Law of Labor Laxity: At all times, for any task, you have not
got enough done today.
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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