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Re: etcupdate destructive tricks

On Fri, 27 Jun 2014 17:42:40 +0100
Alan Barrett wrote:

> It is intended to ask you about every single file, and if you 
> just hit ENTER instead of giving an answer, it is designed to 
> leave the file alone.  It is NEVER supposed to overwrite a file 
> without your explicit permision.  Once again, if it's not working 
> as designed, them please file a detailed bug report; these vague 
> messages about "wants to destroy" and "vengeful" do not provide 
> any of the detailed information that would be required to fix any 
> such bugs, if they exist.

While phrasing of original message could be better, if I guess intent
correctly, design quoted above (asking about every file) is part of the

Without extra flags, user gets asked many times to make decisions
about replacing files (IIRC most of which you actually do want to
replace), with few especially critical files mixed in without any
extra warnings. This offers more opportunities for mistakes than

-a and -l make this much better. Now that I think about it, I do wonder
why they are not used as defaults. I can see how seeing everything could
potentially be useful, but I suspect wanting effects of those flags
might be more common than not wanting them.

Importantly, anyone relying on the NetBSD Guide (33.1.4, 33.1.5) is
told to use "/usr/sbin/etcupdate -s /usr/src". Adding -a and -l there
might possibly be good.

It's been a while since I used etcupdate but if ENTER currently
basically means "change nothing", another possible improvement could be
to try to adjust question by question default action ENTER gives, for
example by same logic as -a and -l use.

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