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[Bug 492665] net-tools: print warning message when using obsolete tools
  • From: bugzilla_noreply@xxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 04:20:58 -0600
  • Message-id: <20090817102058.60A41CC7CD@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

User okir@xxxxxxxxxx added comment

--- Comment #35 from Olaf Kirch <okir@xxxxxxxxxx> 2009-08-17 04:20:55 MDT ---
I think we agree that we can't just remove or break these commands. There are
still casual users who at least use these tools for displaying network
configuration status. People may even have scripts looking at these outputs.
Third party software probably relies on them quite a lot, because ISVs go for
the greatest common denominator on unixish systems. [I looked at my 11.1
installation, and found scripts from python, yast2, qt etc all using ifconfig.]

My fundamental objection to the proposed "print a warning" approach is
basically tells the user he's doing something wrong and that he should grow up
and RTFM. It's the kind of solution that's easy on the programmer but hard on
the user (especially if there's no way of getting rid of these annoying

So if the use of tools like ifconfig, route etc is indeed a serious problem
(which I'm not yet convinced of) then a good approach would be to suggest an
alternative command line using the corresponding iputils command. For instance,
if the user types "ifconfig eth0 netmask ..." then the tool should try
to be as helpful as possible, and suggest "ip addr add dev eth0

The more specific question I have is, what kinds of problems are we talking
about in ifconfig and route? Are these functional deficiencies in the sense
that iputils are simply more complete, or are these actual bugs where a user
would not get the behavior to be expected?

From a SLES perspective, one could even make a point that if there are serious
problems in ifconfig and route, we should see whether they can be fixed - Unix
users migrating to SLES expect these to simply work.

At a very minimum, I would suggest to

a) send warnings to stderr not stdout, so we're not messing up scripts which
parse the output
b) make these warnings configurable through /etc/nettools.conf and/or
c) tell the user how to shut up the warning

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