[Freedombox-discuss] Packaging Configuration Changes?

Jonas Smedegaard dr at jones.dk
Mon Jan 23 02:07:16 UTC 2012

Hi Nick,

On 12-01-22 at 07:23pm, Nick Daly wrote:
> Jonas, you've obviously had a lot of practice packaging software for 
> Debian.  I was wondering if you could clarify something for me?  The 
> primary rule in packaging is that one package doesn't modify another 
> package's files.  However, that's all my plug server setup scripts [0] 
> actually do.
> Aside from that problem, packaging the scripts is fairly 
> straightforward.  I'll have several packages that depend on a few 
> other packages (and a meta-package to install all the packages at 
> once), but I have no idea how to properly (correctly) do the 
> configuration.

Correct, Debian packages are not allowed to "step on each others toes".

The only way to properly solve that is to convince the maintainers of 
the packages you want customized to either change the defaults to match 
your needs or make the configuration handling more flexible.

An first step towards that is to file a wishlist bugreport against the 
package.  An obvious way to help convince is to suggest a patch to the 
package, so that the maintainers need not do all the hard work.  But 
beware that a quick'n'dirty hack often means more work long-term 
maintainance so is less likely to be convincing.

> If you have any resources that could help me answer that question, I'd 
> appreciate you pointing me to them.  If you feel that this could also 
> help the FBX discuss list generally, feel free to forward it along.

I believe that among the few possible ways to make config handling more 
flexible, the most promising (although also the more complex to 
implement, but should be easy to then maintain) involved Config::Model.

I therefore recommend looking into Config::Model as used together with 
debconf: http://wiki.debian.org/PackageConfigUpgrade

I've cc'ed the Freedombox list, as I see no benefit of keeping this 
conversation discrete.  Thanks for asking, and for encouraging to share!


 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

 [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
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