warnquota mail template stored in static strings within the executable, impossible to customize or translate

Bug #393396 reported by Nick Moffitt
This bug affects 9 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
quota (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

The quota package shows signs of age, and could do with some adoption and maintenance. The most obvious sign is that the mails sent out by the warnquota(8) tool are built from a template stored in static strings within the executable.

The trouble with this is that it makes a few outdated assumptions (namely that the best way to deal with quota overages on an accountholder's part is to make a local telephone call) and it probably makes translation unnecessarily difficult.

The code does have its own template variable substitution logic, so a naïve approach of simply slurping in the base strings from files would bring the code a long way forward. Beyond that, I'm not versed in the current state of C templating engines so I'm not sure what The Right Thing would be.

Description: Ubuntu 8.04.2
Release: 8.04

  Installed: 3.15-6
  Candidate: 3.15-6
  Version table:
 *** 3.15-6 0
        500 http://archive.ubuntu.com hardy/main Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

Revision history for this message
Luke Faraone (lfaraone) wrote :


I looked at the source <http://linuxquota.cvs.sourceforge.net/viewvc/linuxquota/quota-tools/warnquota.c?revision=1.32&view=markup> of the warnquota command, and it seems to support customizations in the warnquota.conf file <http://linuxquota.cvs.sourceforge.net/viewvc/linuxquota/quota-tools/warnquota.conf?revision=1.9&view=markup>. Is this not what you're looking for? (the l10n and l18n problems nonwithstanding)

Changed in quota (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Revision history for this message
Nick Moffitt (nick-moffitt) wrote :

That sort of customization was what I was referring to when I said it "does have its own template variable substitution logic". It allows me to, for example, replace the "office phone number" field with a URL, so I can tell people to phone http://example.com/quota.html if they have questions. This isn't exactly friendly.

Chuck Short (zulcss)
Changed in quota (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Lorenz Bort (lbort) wrote :

I had the same Problem, but found a solution.

The first hits on google indicate that one has to edit the source and recompile it to change the Message. This is not true (at least for the version in the karmic-tree). There are variables available which aren't mentioned in the manpages or the default warnquota.conf, but in the source Luke Faraone already quoted:
MESSAGE and GROUP_MESSAGE change the text before the details,
SIGNATURE and GROUP_SIGNATURE the text after the details. Others like CC_BEFORE aren't documented either.

The latest version on sourceforge contains a quite long warnquota.conf with nice comments. Using this instead of the current one would solve the problem. I'm quite new here, so I don't know how to do that, but it should not be a big problem to update this file in the repositories...

my versions:
quotatool version 1.4.10
Quota Utilities Version: 3.17

Changed in quota (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Fix Committed
Revision history for this message
Luke Faraone (lfaraone) wrote :

Please don't change bug statuses to "fix committed" unless a fix has actually been uploaded.

Changed in quota (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Committed → Confirmed
Changed in quota (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → New
status: New → Incomplete
status: Incomplete → New
Luke Faraone (lfaraone)
Changed in quota (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
Revision history for this message
Christian Ehrhardt  (paelzer) wrote :

Given how long this issue is dormant I think this is essentially an upstream feature request.
Thanks to Luke we know about the warnquota.conf basic customization, but anything on top would IMHO be done in upstream first.

This is one case of - yes it is an issue, but it seems not to bother too many people enough to trigger them writing the change. In some sense the reporter already phrased this by "shows signs of age" since I see similar issues for many very old packages.

IMHO if we really want this resolved one should open a bug with upstream and link it here to be tracked and eventually picked up.

Changed in quota (Ubuntu):
importance: Low → Wishlist
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