question on mergemaster

Eric Anderson anderson at
Mon Jan 19 11:16:31 PST 2004

Garance A Drosihn wrote:

>> The optimistic way to do this would be to have some sort of
>> switch to mergemaster to tell it to go into autoupdate mode,
>> and it will only ask for files that contain a "negative
>> magic" like:        # mergemaster noautoreplace
>> In which case the administrator should put this string at
>> the beginning of every file that he tweaks in /etc
> This is probably easier to implement, but there is still a
> good chance that someone will make an important change to
> some /etc file, and:
>    1) not-know to add the line
>       (documentation?  Who reads documentation?)
>    2) know, but still forget to do it
>    3) remember to do it, but misspell the magic line.
> And at some future system update their change will be automatically
> and quietly erased.  And depending on the change, they might not
> realize that it is gone until weeks or months after having made
> the mistake.
> I think it would be a mistake if we streamline mergemaster to
> the point that users can easily start losing updates. 

I think you missed something - "some sort of switch to mergemaster to 
tell it to go into autoupdate mode" - which I understood it to mean, 
that the default action will not change, unless you use a "mergemaster 
-I" or some such beast..


Eric Anderson	   Systems Administrator      Centaur Technology
All generalizations are false, including this one.

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