[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Better support for merging local and upstream (was: Erase cache, clean registry in Linux)

On Tuesday 2008 December 09 13:33:19 lee wrote:
>On Sun, Dec 07, 2008 at 08:24:45PM -0200, Eduardo M KALINOWSKI wrote:
>> From: lee <lee@yun.yagibdah.de>
>> > When a program uses a number of different configuration files, it's
>> > much more difficult for the administrator to configure it.
>> I'd say it's a matter of preference. I like exim's split configuration.
>Well, I don't like it.

So, you clearly agree with Eduardo.  It's a matter of preference.  Oddly 
enough, exim4-config provides the option of split or single.

>Using a single configuration file, you as well 
>only need to deal with the parts that need to be changed. But you
>would know what is configured and what needs to be changed which is
>impossible with the automatic configuration.

It's also impossible for exim4 for work immediately after installation without 
an automatic configuration.  Packages need to work immediate after 
installation so that other packages can use them during their installation.

Distribution-shipped configuration files aren't going away.  Perhaps they 
should be moved to somewhere you don't see them -- like /usr/share -- and 
then overridden with your configuration in /etc, but they aren't going away.  
If you want to use your version of the configuration file, but tell dpkg not 
to use the maintainer's version; it'll ask you before replacing files marked 
as conffiles.

>> For those who prefer a single file, debconf allows that, satisfying all
>> kinds of people. You can even dump debconf altogether and do all the
>> configuration yourself.
>Yes, it's good to have a choice. The problem is that the choice
>eventually gets taken away.

How so?  While I would don't see myself using single-file exim4 configurations 
in the future, I certainly think it should be an option.  I used to 
use /etc/apt/sources.list.d, but now I think I prefer 
the /etc/apt/sources.list approach.  It's supposed by more programs and my 
list never gets over 24 lines anyway.

>> > Just
>> > packages like exim4 or apache2 that use an approach which makes it
>> > very difficult to impossible for the administrator to configure them
>> > break it.
>> That's your opinion. Do not take it as absolute.
>It's a matter of fact.

No, it's not.  It's opinion.  I found configuring apache2 on Debian easier 
than Gentoo or FC particularly because it was split up *well*.  I even split 
up my configuration across multiple files.  It's nice to be able to disable 
just a single site with a single command (okay, two; apache2 has to reload 
the configuration) rather than commenting out multiple set of lines and 
hoping I've got it all.

>You can try it by, for example, installing php 
>for apache2. You're not being told what needs to be done with the
>apache2 config, it gets modified automatically. Then you find that it
>doesn't work, not before restarting apache2 manually.

Done it, for running Drupal.  Yes, I had to ask apache to re-read it's 
configuration files.  That's about it, and I was expecting that.

>Exim4 is another example. I can configure it easily bypassing the
>automatic configuration, but I'm unable to configure it using the
>auomatic configuration. What about changes if you use the automatic
>configuration? Would you be told what is being changed? Or would your
>mailserver suddenly be configured differently without you even knowing
>about it?

You are basically worried about the behavior you haven't specified changing. 

Unfortunately, even with a single file that can happen due to changes in the 
source code.  If you need specific behavior, don't default to it, explicitly 
specify it.

Personally, I only needed to tweak things in the exim4 configuration, so most 
(maybe all) of my changes were adding files to the existing directory 
structure.  The split in to multiple files made it easier to work with.

>> I don't know about apache, but as I said, with exim it's quite easy
>> to use a single file, if you prefer it that way.
>Well, where is the option to have the automatic configuration create a
>single configuration file that you can easily check and then use to
>configure your program if you want to?

Do you mean specifically for exim4?  I think the option to use a single file 
is the first or second question asked by dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config.
Boyd Stephen Smith Jr.                     ,= ,-_-. =. 
bss03@volumehost.net                      ((_/)o o(\_))
ICQ: 514984 YM/AIM: DaTwinkDaddy           `-'(. .)`-' 
http://iguanasuicide.org/                      \_/     

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: This is a digitally signed message part.

Reply to: