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Re: best way to express an 'editfiles' idiom?

From: Eric Sorenson
Subject: Re: best way to express an 'editfiles' idiom?
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 23:08:34 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 21 Jul 2003, Daniel Pittman wrote:

> OTOH, I don't really want to use 'copy' for a number of these files,
> because that is a pain when postfix adds a new daemon, for example, or
> with a config file for Squid or something.

Personally, I greatly prefer to use 'copy' for any of this configuration
management work. After a couple of attempts to work out how to do tasks
that seemed straightforward to me inside 'editfiles' and ending up with
baroque hacks that failed, I became disillusioned with the idea of
editing files in-place with cfengine.

With some hierarchy to the file selection in cfengine
(everyone->computers like me-> my hostname) and some version control on
the repository, this turns out to have several advantages over

    - you can use whatever generative front ends (perl!) to put the
    files in place
    - you can see at a glance what changes you've made from week to week
    ('rcsdiff', commit logs, etc) instead of having to infer it from
    changes you've made to the 'editfiles'
    - I'd aregue that your examples, postfix adding a new daemon or a Squid 
    changing on a running system, are a momentous and unusual enough
    events you'd really want to test the change and then roll out the
    exact working file from the testbed; versus test the change,
    figure out how to make 'editfiles' turn the live version into
    the new version, roll out the cfengine config and hope the change
    'took' properly...

With these points in mind, a 'copy' line for each file I manage turned
out to not be so bad :-)  YMMV, and I'd love to hear more discussion on
this topic...


    Eric Sorenson - EXPLOSIVE Networking -

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