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Bug#348336: I'm really confused by section 10.7.4 in the policy


Thanks. Yes I was unaware of the distinction between a configuration file and a conffile. I must have read it once before, but I'm sure you will understand that it did not stick even if the policy insists the distinction is important.
In fact my understanding was that the conffiles concept was superseded by the convention that everything in /etc is or
should be a "configuration file/conffile" for some package. In any case since policy sections are often cited in bug reports, it is clearly necessary that a developer should be able to dip into the policy - the commandment to read the policy notwithstanding.

So my suggestions are:

1.) The section needs to provide links to (or failing that definitions of) all concepts used. Conffile is an obvious example of that.

2.) The policy should explain why it mandates the non-sharing of files. I think we have covered that.

3.) The policy should provide strategies to work round the non-sharing of files. The policy already does this in mentioning scripts that manage files but falls down in not citing examples. Modularized configuration files as mentioned by the original requestor also achieves this, but this post was completely lost in the argument over /etc/profile. I don't know if there are any other strategies but two already demands enumeration.

4.) The title should be changed to "Sharing conffiles and configuration files". This would provide the reader with another clue that there is a distinction and that he needs to know it.

5.) As I see it the original requestor was asking for policy to be loosened rather than clarified. As far as I can see there is a convincing case why that should be rejected.

6.) I see a particular comprehensibility conflict with the obscure section D.2.5. One possible interpretation of that section is that conffiles are some how obsolete.

7.) I think the should be some effort to merge #23712, #348336, #533387. I am sure that there are some differences
in the discussion and emphasis of those bug reports but as far as I can see they are all addressing the same issue.

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