[xml/sgml-pkgs] Bug#337436: passivetex: destroys local configuration

Frank Küster frank at debian.org
Fri Nov 4 12:02:59 UTC 2005

Package: passivetex
Severity: serious
Version: 1.25-2

The package has two serious bugs, and some normal ones:

1. The package has in its postinst the line:

/usr/bin/fmtutil --cnffile /usr/share/tetex-bin/fmtutil.cnf --all > /dev/null 2>&1

   Beside the fact that it should use fmtutil-sys as soon as teTeX-3.0 is
   in testing, and that it should not prepend a path to the binary, it has
   a major flaw:
   It statically uses a template configuration file in
   /usr/share/tetex-bin instead of the actual configuration file
   (/var/lib/texmf/web2c/fmtutil.cnf, a file generated from files in
   /etc/texmf/fmt.d).  This does not make any sense at all, and it
   creates formats according to the tetex-bin package default instead of
   local customization.
   Furthermore, since passivetex is not listed anywhere in
   /usr/share/tetex-bin/fmtutil.cnf, the line only recreates formats that
   are already available anyway (created by tetex-bin's postinst script).

2. The postinst snippet below has the effect that if the local admin
   deletes the configuration file /etc/texmf/texmf.d/96passivetex.cnf,
   it is resurrected from the template file, which is a violation of
   Policy 10.7.3:

        if [ -f $conffile ] ; then
        elif [ -f $conffile.disable ]; then
            mv $conffile.disable $conffile
            cp $TMPLDIR/`basename $conffile` $conffile

   Furthermore, there is no Policy or tradition that a configuration
   file with suffix disable is treated specially.  Therefore it might
   well be that local admin renamed the configuration file manually to
   $conffile.disable, and this would also be destroyed by this snippet.

   As a sidenote, it seems as if this configuration file has not been
   updated for years - the main_memory setting for passivetex is obviously
   supposed to increase the available memory size for initex, but in fact
   it is only half the size as the setting for all other programs.

3. In the prerm script, the configuration file discussed above is moved
   to $conffile.disable.  This is not necessary, since texmf variable
   settings for programs that won't be run don't do any harm.
   Furthermore, after this is done, the program update-fmtutil is
   called, but for the change to have an effect update-texmf would be
   needed.  This is only of normal severity, but when it's fixed the
   postrm script has to be adapted.

I don't know how passivetex is actually used, but the Makefile in the
examples directory calls xsltproc from the package of the same name,
without Depending on it, or listing it in Suggests/Recommends.

Regards, Frank

-- System Information:
Debian Release: 3.1
Architecture: i386 (i686)
Kernel: Linux 2.6.8-2-386
Locale: LANG=de_DE at euro, LC_CTYPE=de_DE at euro (charmap=ISO-8859-15)

Frank Küster
Inst. f. Biochemie der Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer

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