Subject: Re: Proposed rc.d changes....
To: None <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 05/02/2000 12:36:30
[ On Tuesday, May 2, 2000 at 14:37:29 (+0200), Dr. Rene Hexel wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: Proposed rc.d changes....
> Hubert Feyrer wrote:
> > Not that I know of. We still follow the "all in /usr/pkg" line, else we
> > could give up /usr/pkg altogether. (Few exceptions exist, though)
>   Yes, you are right, of course.  Somehow I was under the impression
> that, lately, most packages use /etc instead of PREFIX/etc.  This is
> only true of packages with host-specific configurations (like ssh). 
> Sorry for causing any confusion ;-)

I would say the confusion is in using $PREFIX/etc in the first place.

Configuration information is, strictly speaking, always host-specific.
Sure there are site-wide (or some other form of grouping -- pick your
poison) "standards" that might apply to some forms of configuration
information, but generally speaking the keeping of these things in sync
across the group of common hosts is left as an exercise for the
administrator.  For example I have a "better" /etc/services file that I
copy to all my hosts, and on my local network I use common /etc/passwd
entries for all hosts that mount my shared /home, etc., etc., etc.
Nothing in the base system design assists me in maintaining such common
elements, and indeed in some scenarios the current system design
actively works against my efforts (particularly come upgrade time!).

The fact that now pkgsrc tries to differentiate between host-specific
and potentialy shared configuration information is what's confusing.

This is also normally something specific to NetBSD pkgsrc too, not
something that's inherently supported in the native package, thus
further confusing anyone familiar with the software in any other

Last, but certainly not least, is the issue we've been discussing that
this creates for the new /etc/rc.  Putting all configuration
information, including all add-on startup scripts, in /etc solves this
problem elegantly and with the least amount of surprise.

I continue to vote very strongly in favour of ditching $PREFIX/etc and
$PREFIX/var (and if I didn't set PREFIX=/usr and set up /usr/etc -> /etc
and /usr/var -> /var symlinks on my own systems I'd already be
maintaining private local patches to do this).  I can assure you that
everyone who administers systems I've built this way for are very
pleased at the simplicity such a design brings to their lives and they
constantly ask me why the rest of the *BSD world is so anal about
putting such artificial barriers in place.

Please let's cater to the most common usages, not try to waste a
super-human effort in doing things that only a relatively few people
even know how to make use of, never mind actually use.

							Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <>      <robohack!woods>
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