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Re: dpkg Selective Install

 > > I was thinking about this...  How about just altering "install-info" a
 > > bit so that if, on install, the "dir" file does not exist, then it removes
 > > the info files it was about to install.  On de-install, if "dir" did not
 > > exist then it would just exit.
 > A better solution is, I think, firstly to use a mechanism I propose to
 > add to dpkg to have it selectively not install certain files (those
 > matching a list of wildcards in a configuration file somewhere).
 > Secondly, if you install a link in /usr/local/sbin called install-info
 > pointing to /bin/true suddenly all the problems with install-info
 > vanish :-).
 > Do people think this is so gross a hack that we shouldn't recommend it
 > to people who don't want to install the info files ?

I do!

I think it's quite nessecary to install the info files, manual pages
and perhaps other info to prevent RTFM-type of errors. Debian should
be hairy enough to be usable by the novice.

Consider the following example:

   Expert E installs a minimal Debian system, consisting of only the bare
   nessecities to make it operational. So there is no documentation at
   all, even not about the hack made to get rid of the docs.

   Next, Novice N takes over the maintanaince of the system and is
   looking for documentation. It's not available. So N decides to
   reinstall packages in order to get the documentation. Even if N
   doesn't make any mistakes when reinstalling, (config files are
   easily corrupted by novice) there will be no docs, for some obsure
   reason, even if the package contains them. (dpkg --contents)
   This will give a lot of (preventable) noise on the mailing lists.

So I propose to make it an option of either
a) the install-scripts
b) the dpkg program 
to selectively include docs. Or even to install docs-only in my example.

This feature can be used by more than documentation only, what about
including the source in the package and make that an option also. This
gives a solution to the long discussed problem of getting the right
sources. (including the sources might make the packages too big but
it's the best example I could think of at the moment).

Just my idea.

Guido Witmond, a satisfied Debian user since 0.93R5.

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