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Re: Debian testing - release number

On Thu 05 Jul 2018 at 12:42:36 (-0400), Greg Wooledge wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 05, 2018 at 11:06:22AM -0500, David Wright wrote:
> > But if you're a sysadmin who has a script that wants/needs a version
> > *number* for any reason, then /etc/debian_version is the safest file
> > to modify.
> I strongly disagree.  The safest file to modify would be the broken
> shell script that needs a "release number".

Would you explain what is unsafe about it and why /etc/debian_version
is a configuration file, or offer a sensible alternative.

> Either that, or the brain of the system administrator who installed
> testing or unstable on this production system (because what other kind
> of system would be running a broken shell script to detect a release
> number that doesn't necessarily exist).

You've lost me. My assumption would be that the misguided script
writer wrote the script(s) on a stable (or older) system without
realising that unreleased systems don't have a numeric debian_version.

They might only realise their mistake when they needed to install/
upgrade to testing for some unrelated reason and some of their
scripts (or even programs) started throwing errors.

If they were trying to meet pressing deadlines, I would not deny them
the sticking plaster approach in favour of brain surgery or
potentially long debugging sessions. "Stupid" or not, they deserve
help, commonly known as a workaround or hack.

There's plenty of evidence that some people here employ far worse
hacks upon workarounds upon hacks than this one. It's human nature.