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Bug#220469: xserver-xfree86: dpkg-reconfigure should create the config file if it doesn't exist

On Fri, Nov 14, 2003 at 02:59:08AM +0100, Uwe Storbeck wrote:
> Hi Branden
> > > But if the config file doesn't exist dpkg-reconfigure should create
> > > a new one instead of refusing to write it:
> > 
> > Why?  dpkg works the same way.  If you delete a conffile it will respect
> > your (apparent) wishes.
> Ooops, that's new to me. If I change a config file I would expect dpkg
> to protect it, ok. But removing a config file and reconfiguring the
> package means give me a new one for me.

I am not sure there is universal agreement on that, however it is true
that we (as a Project) need to be defining some semantics for it.

> I just have checked a few packages, which I remember asking for
> configuration during installation. Selection is probably not
> representative. I have moved away the config file and have
> reconfigured each package after this:
> Opinions seem to vary, even between Debian maintainers ;-).

That's usually what happens when there are no defined semantics.

> > If you are playing around with different options or even different
> > graphic cards and want to start from scratch with a new config file,
> > save the pre-created one in a safe location, and move it back when
> > you're done.
> Yes, of course I can do this. But first it doesn't make much sense to
> save a configuration which is already stored by debconf

Debconf doesn't store a config file, it stores settings.  If you change
those settings, how are you going to get the old ones back?

> and second I mostly forget to save the file before changing it :-).

There's not much help for this except better habits. :)

> It only was an idea to make life easier. Treat it as a wish as you
> already have done. There are much more important things to do like
> porting version 4.4 of XFree86 ;-).

Actually I think an overhaul of the xserver-xfree86 debconfage is pretty
important.  But it's not a goal for 4.3.0-1.

G. Branden Robinson                |    The errors of great men are
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    venerable because they are more
branden@debian.org                 |    fruitful than the truths of little
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    men.         -- Friedrich Nietzsche

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