Configuration suggestion...

Michael H. Warfield mhw at
Mon Aug 10 19:56:26 IST 2009

On Mon, 2009-08-10 at 19:00 +0100, Jules Field wrote:
> I don't quite see what that would achieve that the 
> upgrade_MailScanner_conf doesn't.
> I don't entirely understand your point, sorry.

	The point is that upgrade_MailScanner_conf is a PITA.  I typically have
to have two screens up and refer back and forth while I've got the
instructions from one process in one screen and performing the actions
in another.

	The install script tells you to run upgrade_MailScanner_conf, but then
it tells you "if you're running an rpm distro do..."

cd /etc/MailScanner
upgrade_MailScanner_conf MailScanner.conf MailScanner.conf.rpmnew >
mv -f MailScanner.conf MailScanner.old
mv -f  MailScanner.conf

	... But then that tells you ...

then you should do
  diff -w MailScanner.conf.rpmnew
and check for any differences in values you have not changed yourself.

Once you have checked that contains what
you want, you can then save your old one and move the new
one into place, using commands like these:
  mv -f MailScanner.conf MailScanner.old
  mv -f  MailScanner.conf

	That's a lot of manual steps that have to be performed each time on
each system.  Having a site configuration would obviate the need for all
of that.  You just update the main file which could be easily handled in
a simple rpm update like all the other packages do.


> On 10/08/2009 18:42, Michael H. Warfield wrote:
> > Hey all, Julian,
> >
> > 	I was just in the process of upgrading MailScanner on several machines
> > and had been doing a few other similar things to some other packages and
> > had a thought regarding the configuration file.  Right now, we use the
> > configuration upgrade script and some diffing and what not (I'm on an
> > rpm based system - Fedora 10).
> >
> > 	Maybe this has been brought up in the past and dismissed and maybe
> > there are good reasons for not doing it or may it can be done, I just
> > don't know how...  But...  What about a separate, site specific,
> > configuration file?  Keep the main file with all the default options but
> > then have the admin put customized options in a separate file and not
> > modify the main file?
> >
> > 	Several other packages I know do it this way and it makes updating so
> > much easier and less error prone.  The main file would then have
> > instructions to put customized values into the site file while it still
> > retains all the possible options and their defaults and the detailed
> > instructions.  The admin can make the site file as complex or as simple
> > as he likes.  Updates then merely require a check that the main file has
> > not been alter and then a simple replacement.  Value checks and warnings
> > could still be applied but then it would be to both the main and site
> > specific file.  Maybe make the configuration file(s) a colon separated
> > string, like a PATH, with the last value read from any of them holding
> > precedence.
> >
> > 	Yes, there is the possibility that the user might have some
> > incompatible option in a site file that could cause a version skew
> > problem.  Given the normal tunable parameters, this would seem pretty
> > unlikely and could be caught in the update check for default files.
> >
> > 	It would certainly make packaging for a distribution much easier and
> > updates much more convenient for the system administrator.
> >
> > 	Just a thought.
> >
> > 	Regards,
> > 	Mike
> >    
> Jules
> -- 
> Julian Field MEng CITP CEng
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Michael H. Warfield (AI4NB) | (770) 985-6132 |  mhw at
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