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Re: MESSAGE considered harmful

On 30 January 2015 at 13:04, Greg Troxel <> wrote:
> Tim Zingelman <> writes:
>> I would ask instead that the binary package managers please learn how
>> to show this information to users, because (at least in my opinion)
>> where I have added them, they provide information that will avoid the
>> potential for serious disappointment by the users.  Such as
>> security/mit-krb5/MESSAGE and security/openssl/MESSAGE.SunOS
> Agreed that if MESSAGE stays at all binary package managers should show
> them.
> The first part of the mit-krb5 one is already in DESCR, which I think is
> sufficient.  I can see the point of the second hunk, but at the same
> time that's normal documentation.
> I didn't find security/openssl/Message.SunOS (in 2014Q4)??
> I think the heart of the issue is that upstream documentation doesn't
> have a universal form, and also that there's a desire to warn people who
> don't read documentation of things.  While I can see where that desire
> comes from, I think we should optimize for people who do.

I think the information in many MESSAGE* files is useful and should be
easily available, but I definitely agree it should not be presented on
every install as now.

Given the following types of information
1) What is this package/what does it do/why should I install it - DESCR
2) Its just been installed. Stop everything, read this *now* - MESSAGE
3) I'm looking for useful information to give me a headstart on
using/configuring, possibly specific to my platform

I'd actually be inclined to reclassify MESSAGE as type '3)', and do
not show it by default on install. Its available from pkg_info.

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