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Bug#545294: Undocumented apt.conf syntax change (append feature)

Package: apt
Severity: normal

According to bugs 501542 and 535364, there has been a syntax change
in apt.conf (basically the patch of bug 535364 reverts the patch of
bug 501542). Such a syntax change should be announced in the NEWS
file. Otherwise it is not clear how one should write config files
(the changelog isn't clear either).

This syntax change also makes the status of bug 503481 unclear.
Isn't it obsolete?

-- Package-specific info:

-- apt-config dump --

APT "";
APT::Architecture "amd64";
APT::Build-Essential "";
APT::Build-Essential:: "build-essential";
APT::Install-Recommends "1";
APT::Install-Suggests "0";
APT::Acquire "";
APT::Acquire::Translation "environment";
APT::Authentication "";
APT::Authentication::TrustCDROM "true";
APT::NeverAutoRemove "";
APT::NeverAutoRemove:: "^linux-image.*";
APT::NeverAutoRemove:: "^linux-restricted-modules.*";
APT::Cache-Limit "33554432";
Dir "/";
Dir::State "var/lib/apt/";
Dir::State::lists "lists/";
Dir::State::cdroms "cdroms.list";
Dir::State::userstatus "status.user";
Dir::State::status "/var/lib/dpkg/status";
Dir::Cache "var/cache/apt/";
Dir::Cache::archives "archives/";
Dir::Cache::srcpkgcache "srcpkgcache.bin";
Dir::Cache::pkgcache "pkgcache.bin";
Dir::Etc "etc/apt/";
Dir::Etc::sourcelist "sources.list";
Dir::Etc::sourceparts "sources.list.d";
Dir::Etc::vendorlist "vendors.list";
Dir::Etc::vendorparts "vendors.list.d";
Dir::Etc::main "apt.conf";
Dir::Etc::parts "apt.conf.d";
Dir::Etc::preferences "preferences";
Dir::Etc::preferencesparts "preferences.d";
Dir::Bin "";
Dir::Bin::methods "/usr/lib/apt/methods";
Dir::Bin::dpkg "/usr/bin/dpkg";
Dir::Log "var/log/apt";
Dir::Log::Terminal "term.log";
DPkg "";
DPkg::Pre-Install-Pkgs "";
DPkg::Pre-Install-Pkgs:: "/usr/sbin/apt-listbugs apt || exit 10";
DPkg::Pre-Install-Pkgs:: "/usr/bin/apt-listchanges --apt";
DPkg::Pre-Install-Pkgs:: "/usr/sbin/dpkg-preconfigure --apt || true";
DPkg::Tools "";
DPkg::Tools::Options "";
DPkg::Tools::Options::/usr/sbin/apt-listbugs "";
DPkg::Tools::Options::/usr/sbin/apt-listbugs::Version "2";
DPkg::Tools::Options::/usr/bin/apt-listchanges "";
DPkg::Tools::Options::/usr/bin/apt-listchanges::Version "2";
DPkg::Post-Invoke "";
DPkg::Post-Invoke:: "if [ -x /usr/bin/debsums ]; then /usr/bin/debsums --generate=nocheck -sp /var/cache/apt/archives; fi";
Aptitude "";
Aptitude::UI "";
Aptitude::UI::Package-Display-Format "%c%a%M %p %Z %24v %24V";

-- (no /etc/apt/preferences present) --

-- (/etc/apt/sources.list present, but not submitted) --

-- System Information:
Debian Release: squeeze/sid
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (500, 'unstable'), (500, 'stable'), (1, 'experimental')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)

Kernel: Linux 2.6.30-1-amd64 (SMP w/2 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=POSIX, LC_CTYPE=en_US.ISO8859-1 (charmap=ISO-8859-1)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash

Versions of packages apt depends on:
ii  debian-archive-keyring        2009.01.31 GnuPG archive keys of the Debian a
ii  libc6                         2.9-26     GNU C Library: Shared libraries
ii  libgcc1                       1:4.4.1-3  GCC support library
ii  libstdc++6                    4.4.1-3    The GNU Standard C++ Library v3

apt recommends no packages.

Versions of packages apt suggests:
ii  apt-doc                Documentation for APT
ii  aptitude         terminal-based package manager
ii  bzip2                     1.0.5-3        high-quality block-sorting file co
ii  dpkg-dev               Debian package development tools
ii  python-apt             Python interface to libapt-pkg
ii  synaptic                  0.62.9         Graphical package manager
ii  xz-lzma [lzma]            4.999.9beta-1  high compression-ratio compressor 

-- no debconf information

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