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Re: Resolutions to comments on LSB-FHS-TS_SPEC_V1.0

(on /var/mail vs /var/spool/mail)

On Wed, Jan 20, 1999 at 12:19:26AM -0800, H. Peter Anvin wrote:
> > Since this is "the objection that won't die", I'm currently
> > considering four "ways out" of the mess created by this change that
> > went into FHS 2.0.
> >  1. totally revert, drop /var/mail, and specify /var/spool/mail
> >  2. partially revert, /var/spool/mail is a directory and /var/mail
> >     must be a symbolic link to it
> >  3. allow a /var/spool/mail directory, provided that /var/mail is
> >     a symbolic link to it
> >  4. allow either /var/spool/mail or /var/mail to be a directory,
> >     provided that the other is a symbolic link to it.
> I believe the FHS 2.0 change was right on target.  Just about every
> UNIX implementation today has moved away from /var/spool/mail to
> /var/mail, and it has technical advantages.

May I ask what these other technical advantages are? (it might be worth
adding them to the rationale section of the FHS HTML on Dan's site, too)

The debian-policy thread [0] in May/June last year basically said ``it's
a pain to convert, /var/spool isn't particularly inappropriate, especially
for POP and IMAP users'' and ``everyone else does it, therefore we must''.

Why not require /var/mail exist, but possibly be a symlink to a different
place if necessary? This will probably end up happening on a number of
user systems anyway and has the advantage that it's trivial to become FHS
compliant, code can still get #ifdef's removed, and everyone can be happy.


[0] http://www.debian.org/Lists-Archives/debian-policy-9805/msg00174.html

Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. PGP encrypted mail preferred.

``Like the ski resort of girls looking for husbands and husbands looking
  for girls, the situation is not as symmetrical as it might seem.''

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