Bug#633858: -v not as safe as it sounds

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Bug#633858: -v not as safe as it sounds

Jesse Smith-2
I think the manual page is correct and the flag is documented as
expected. The -v command only turns on verbose messages, it doesn't do
anything else, as documented in the man page. This bug can probably be
closed as there doesn't seem to be anything here to fix.

- Jesse

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Bug#633858: -v not as safe as it sounds

Jonathan de Boyne Pollard

Jesse Smith:

> I think the manual page is correct

Clearly it is not, otherwise you would not yourself in the same breath have to employ a different explanation:

> The -v command only turns on verbose messages,

The manual page does not say this.  It says "Write out what is currently going on", which can, as this bug proves, be read as writing out a status report of what is currently the case for service configuration.  This is not good writing.  It makes the reader ask "What is currently going on where?" and "What precisely do you mean by going on?".  Whereas "turn on verbose messages, showing what actions insserv is taking" does not inspire such questions.

I suggest putting this explanation of yours into the manual.

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Bug#633858: -v not as safe as it sounds

Dmitry Bogatov-3

control: tags -1 +confirmed

[2019-02-01 09:45] Jonathan de Boyne Pollard <[hidden email]>

> Jesse Smith:
> > The -v command only turns on verbose messages,
>
> The manual page does not say this.  It says "Write out what is currently
> going on", which can, as this bug proves, be read as writing out a
> status report of what is currently the case for service configuration.  
> This is not good writing.  It makes the reader ask "What is currently
> going on /where/?" and "What precisely do you mean by /going on/?".  
> Whereas "turn on verbose messages, showing what actions insserv is
> taking" does not inspire such questions.
>
> I suggest putting this explanation of yours into the manual.

I agree with this suggestion. While it is common sense, that -v
increases verbosity, while -n is about `dry run', being more unambiguous
in manpage would be nice.
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Bug#633858: -v not as safe as it sounds

Dmitry Bogatov-3
In reply to this post by Jesse Smith-2

control: tags -1 +patch

[2019-01-31 17:25] Jesse Smith <[hidden email]>
> I think the manual page is correct and the flag is documented as
> expected. The -v command only turns on verbose messages, it doesn't do
> anything else, as documented in the man page. This bug can probably be
> closed as there doesn't seem to be anything here to fix.

What about this patch?

 * Patch makes it clear that option only about regular operation of
   insserv(8).

   To my reading (non-native), "currently going on" is about things that
   are happening, whether I am involved or not.

 * Provides information on where these messages are going to.

diff --git a/insserv.8.in b/insserv.8.in
index f405cfd..cc84da9 100644
--- a/insserv.8.in
+++ b/insserv.8.in
@@ -262,7 +262,7 @@ grouped into one starting or stopping order.
 Currently the following options are recognized by insserv:
 .TP
 .BR \-v ,\  \-\-verbose
-Write out what is currently going on.
+Perform operation with more diagnotic messages printed on stderr.
 .TP
 .BR \-c\ <config> ,\  \-\-config\ <config>
 Specify path to the insserv.conf file and the insserv.conf.d


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