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Re: XFree86 4.0.1 and app-defaults

On Tue, Aug 01, 2000 at 11:19:17PM +0200, Remco Blaakmeer wrote:
> 1. It is my understanding that app-defaults files are not configuration
>    files, they are just default settings stored outside the binary.
>    Therefore, a sysadmin can be expected not to modify them.

On the contrary, they can.  It is, for instance, useful to configure the
backspace and delete keys in accordance with the Debian Keyboard Policy on
xterm's app-defaults file, but not in X resources, so that these settings
get overridden on a per-session basis by the user's X resource settings (he
may be running an X session on a remote machine with backwards mappings).

Whether app-defaults files can be regarded as configuration files or not is
an arbitrary decision.  By moving them to /etc/X11 in the default
configuration, XFree86 has indicated their opinion.  I see no reason to
differ with them.

> 2. Files in /etc/X11/app-defaults/ will be modified by (ignorant?)
>    sysadmins. They will get mad when they discover their local 
>    modifications have been thrown away without warning in an upgrade.

No, they won't.  I'm registering them as conffiles and when I write some
new policy for this (which will have to supersede the policy ratified 8
months ago but only JUST released in the policy manual *sigh*) I will
encourage other maintainers to do the same.

> Because of point 1, it is my opinion that app-defaults files should never
> be conffiles, no matter where they are located. Combine points 1 and 2,
> and I think app-defaults file should continue to reside in
> /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/app-defaults/.

I disagree.

> If you say I am wrong on point 1, please say so because that would make my
> whole argument invalid. If point 1 has been right up until now and you
> want to change it for XFree86 4, there is yet another issue:
> "Older" X clients (built before the necessary changes in Policy[2]) will
> try to put their app-defaults files in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/app-defaults/
> (like they should). Since this will be a symlink, the files will end up in
> /etc/X11/app-defaults/. But they aren't conffiles and this conflicts with
> the rule that every file under /etc must be a configuration file.
> Branden, where do you stand on this? Have you thought about this?

I'm not forcing a migration.  I changed my mind about that part.  Instead,
I changed the Xt library to look in /etc/X11/app-defaults.

What this means is that programs using the new policy will work, and the
old X clients won't.

I tried to get Xt to look in both directories, but several different
attempts failed.

> Please tell me if I am totally wrong here. I am not an X developer, nor am
> I even a Debian developer. I'm just a happy user and have been for some
> years now.

Packages that ship app-defaults will need to move them to /etc/X11/app-defaults
when they build against xlib6g >> 4.0.

G. Branden Robinson             |    America is at that awkward stage.  It's
Debian GNU/Linux                |    too late to work within the system, but
branden@debian.org              |    too early to shoot the bastards.
http://www.debian.org/~branden/ |    --Claire Wolfe

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