Upstream's complete overhaul of the configuration file - And future handling - Debian

This is a discussion on Upstream's complete overhaul of the configuration file - And future handling - Debian ; Hi, The new upstream version of a package I maintain (Cherokee, a lightweight extensible web server) requires the configuration file to be completely rewritten - Version 0.6.x will just not parse 0.5.x's config file. It does ship a converter, but ...

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Thread: Upstream's complete overhaul of the configuration file - And future handling

  1. Upstream's complete overhaul of the configuration file - And future handling

    Hi,

    The new upstream version of a package I maintain (Cherokee, a
    lightweight extensible web server) requires the configuration file to
    be completely rewritten - Version 0.6.x will just not parse 0.5.x's
    config file. It does ship a converter, but of course, nobody will
    claim it is perfect.

    The new configuration file is not meant to be hand-edited (although it
    can, it is not a binary registry)

    So, I'm planning the following flow - Please correct me if you feel
    I'm missing something:

    1- At preinst, ask via Debconf if user wants the script to perform the
    automatic conversion.
    2a- If user does not want automatic conversion, just display what would
    have been done, and signal the daemon not to start (i.e. setting a
    variable in /etc/default/cherokee). Should I leave the old
    Cherokee instance running, or should I leave it in a stopped
    state?
    2b- If the user does want automatic conversion, do it - and leave the
    daemon running. Leave old configuration as reference, appending
    .old to filename.

    Does this sound sensible?

    Now, regarding the future handling (and that's why I'm Cc:ing Álvaro,
    the Cherokee author): The configuration is handled by cherokee-admin,
    a separate Cherokee server with a built-in and limited
    configuration. I don't think cherokee-admin is expected to be active
    at all times, but then again, it feels a bit awkward just to issue a
    command-line argument to start a server whenever I want to tweak my
    configuration. Do you think cherokee-admin should be started at boot
    time? (of course, this would be done using a separate initscript)

    Thanks for your comments.

    --
    Gunnar Wolf - gwolf@gwolf.org - (+52-55)5623-0154 / 1451-2244
    PGP key 1024D/8BB527AF 2001-10-23
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  2. Re: Upstream's complete overhaul of the configuration file - And future handling

    Hi,

    On mar, 2008-03-25 at 09:46 -0600, Gunnar Wolf wrote:
    > 1- At preinst, ask via Debconf if user wants the script to perform the
    > automatic conversion.


    Why in preinst ? I think it can be done in config/postinst the usual
    way. And of course, this question should be skipped if the file has not
    been modified, and not have a too high priority.

    > 2a- If user does not want automatic conversion, just display what would
    > have been done, and signal the daemon not to start (i.e. setting a
    > variable in /etc/default/cherokee). Should I leave the old
    > Cherokee instance running, or should I leave it in a stopped
    > state?


    If the user doesn’t want conversion, either you don’t upgrade at all (in
    which case you indeed need to do it in the preinst) or you simply don’t
    start the daemon, but this sounds suboptimal as well.

    > 2b- If the user does want automatic conversion, do it - and leave the
    > daemon running. Leave old configuration as reference, appending
    > .old to filename.


    In the end, this is the only sane thing to do, so you don’t even need to
    ask the question. Just upgrade, convert, and display a big fat warning
    that the configuration has been converted and where is the old file.

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  3. Re: Upstream's complete overhaul of the configuration file - And future handling

    Josselin Mouette dijo [Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 09:53:56AM +0100]:
    > Why in preinst ? I think it can be done in config/postinst the usual
    > way. And of course, this question should be skipped if the file has not
    > been modified, and not have a too high priority.


    Agree with you here, it makes more sense in preinst. That way it can
    also chicken out more easily.

    > If the user doesn???t want conversion, either you don???t upgrade at all (in
    > which case you indeed need to do it in the preinst) or you simply don???t
    > start the daemon, but this sounds suboptimal as well.
    >
    > > 2b- If the user does want automatic conversion, do it - and leave the
    > > daemon running. Leave old configuration as reference, appending
    > > .old to filename.

    >
    > In the end, this is the only sane thing to do, so you don???t even need to
    > ask the question. Just upgrade, convert, and display a big fat warning
    > that the configuration has been converted and where is the old file.


    Sounds quite sensible, all in all. However, I am not too comfortable
    with unilaterally modifying a conffile - Is that legal? Even if the
    user has already modified it? No, there is no way I can present a
    side-by-side diff... Unless I continue shipping my 0.5.x config file,
    just for comparison sake...

    --
    Gunnar Wolf - gwolf@gwolf.org - (+52-55)5623-0154 / 1451-2244
    PGP key 1024D/8BB527AF 2001-10-23
    Fingerprint: 0C79 D2D1 2C4E 9CE4 5973 F800 D80E F35A 8BB5 27AF


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