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Re: Resolving policy and practice wrt sbin directories (traceroute)


    [This message is a reply to some of Anthony's text in bug #102213, where
he notes that this discussion is not relevant to the bug.]

On Tue, Jun 26, 2001 at 03:12:06PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> That message of Herbert's was a criticism of the language in the FHS. For
> example, he lists ifconfig as something that should be in bin, while the
> FHS specifically requires it to be in /sbin. In any event, this isn't about
> the traceroute issue.

    Agreed and granted, although there have been claims made[1] that almost
everything in the sbin directories is in exception to the FHS.

[We are going to see the traceroute argument return]
> Of course we are. The traceroute flamewar will come up on -devel every few
> months. Similarly the non-free flamewar will come up on -vote every year
> or so. Nothing'll stop this. Whining on -devel (or, rather, the cessation
> thereof) isn't a particularly good reason to break things, though.

    Ok, that's a good point.  I'm not sure that the changes that I have been
asking about really amount to breaking things however.  I have no
suggestions for the non-free flamewar, but I do believe that the traceroute
flamewar could be stopped by the addition of a symlink or wrapper, and it
could be shortened by specifically allowing maintainer discretion with
regards to the FHS.  I'm afraid I still don't understand why either of those
(only the latter is relevant here, I suppose) are not realistic.  Do we
really mean "must" for FHS compatibility if we are advocating ignoring its
directives for the sbin directories?  Seems to me that if that is the case
it would be more clear (although admittedly less clean) to specify that in
section 10.1 somewhere (or better yet, as a footnote) of Debian Policy.

    However, the Policy proposal in question (#102213) comes pretty close to
satisfying me that traceroute is not (unduly) breaking the spirit of policy,
even though the proposal was not intended to do that.  As I have said,
perhaps I misunderstand the purpose of Policy.  I would be interested in
being corrected (or educated) on that score if that is true.


[1] <http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0106/msg00775.html> for example.

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