Subject: Re: emailing MESSAGE/+DISPLAY
To: Todd Vierling <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 06/12/2003 02:05:44
[ On Wednesday, June 11, 2003 at 22:59:03 (-0400), Todd Vierling wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: emailing MESSAGE/+DISPLAY
> On Wed, 11 Jun 2003, Greg A. Woods wrote:
> : Please try to remember to use "pkg_info -D".  :-)
> Doesn't work when pkg_add(1) adds dependencies recursively, and the user
> wants to see the +DISPLAY files for "whatever the new dependencies were".

That's just a S.M.O.P. -- i.e. keep track of what was added and then use
those packages as parameters to "pkg_info -D".  The key point is to make
sure that all packages store important installation and configuration
instructions in the +DISPLAY file, and that additional "dynamic"
messages such as those generated by the pkgsrc/mk/install scripts, are
also appended to the +DISPLAY file.  Everything after that is simply a
matter of reporting -- i.e. when the report is generated, what subset of
information is included in the report, and to which transport, address,
display, or whatever it is fed to.  The important thing is to first
record this information as a part of the package registration in a
standard place in the registration database where the standard packate
management tools can access it at any time and again repeatedly as

> (And considering that the dependencies' +DISPLAY contents are likely to fly
> by on the way to installing the top-level package, those are the ones the
> user wants to have available...!)

I agree that having this information fly by while the pkg_add is running
is not acceptable.

However if _all_ of the important "dynamic" install instructions are
(also) appended to the +DISPLAY file then any time the administrator
needs help they will be immediately and always available through well
defined existing mechanims.  After that it doesn't matter if you e-mail
the output of "pkg_info -D" to root or not -- the information is
recorded and available until the package is de-installed.  Just please
don't make the e-mailing of these reports a default action.

From a fail-safe design perspective it might actually make more sense to
not have REQUIRE and INSTALL scripts dynamically display anything but
rather to always append this output to the +DISPLAY file and to only
display it to the user running pkg_add after the fact by effectively
running "pkg_info -D".  This way it is guaranteed that this information
is available after the fact to be displayed to the user at any time
while the package is still installed, and any reports can that include
this information can also be created at any time and optionally e-mailed
to the user as well.

								Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098;            <>;           <>
Planix, Inc. <>; VE3TCP; Secrets of the Weird <>