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Bug#261150: default-x-display-manager asked at inflated priority

On Fri, Jul 23, 2004 at 08:31:33PM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> Package: xdm,gdm,kdm
> Severity: normal
> xdm, gdm, and kde all ask the shared/default-x-display-manager at high
> priority. Debconf policy is that high priority is for items that don't
> have a reasonable default.


> I think that as long as any of xdm, gdm, or kdm is the default, that
> qualifies as a reaonable default display manager; each of them is usable.

You clearly don't share my expectations of the kinds of bug reports I'll
get if I dare to "make xdm the default", eschewing the obviously superior
{gdm,kdm,wdm}.  The other package maintainers will likewise get similar

Display manager selection is one of the things holy wars are launched over.
In my opinion, there is no reasonable default because a vocal portion of
our userbase will not be reasonable about the subject.

> If there's some alternatives-style ranking going on to rank more usable
> display managers higher and make them more likely to be the default,
> that's even better.

I'm open to suggestions for a schema.

> Anyway, right now an install of debian with gdm and kdm asks which to
> use, even at high priority, and I think that's an unnecessary question
> to ask for a high priority install.

I'm sympathetic to your goal, but the display manager makes a significant
first impression.  Leaving the selection to chance doesn't seem like a good
idea, as it will make the Debian install experience inconsistent.  Users
will get the idea that the display manager is chosen at random.

xdm is less featureful (and less pretty) than the others, but I reckon it
will end up being the default slighly more often than the others because
dpkg will unpack it last.

Or we could work the default the other way, and the first display manager
installed becomes the one that sticks, which would favor gdm.  Unless the
more elaborate library dependencies of gdm, kdm, and wdm affect the
unpacking order, in which case...

Hopefully you get my point.  I don't think we'd accept leaving the default
MTA to chance on a Debian box even though they are all "usable".  Why
should we apply different reasoning to the display manager issue?

I would appreciate further insights from you, and any interested folks
reading this message.

G. Branden Robinson                |
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    Yeah, that's what Jesus would do.
branden@debian.org                 |    Jesus would bomb Afghanistan. Yeah.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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