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Is there a policy for Ubuntu developers/package maintainers about commenting changes to values in configuration files? I'm asking because the upgrade from 16.04 to 16.10 apparently changed /etc/nsswitch.conf to include

hosts:          files resolve [!UNAVAIL=return] dns myhostname

instead of

hosts:          files dns

and I have no idea what that means - and it would be KISS to have a comment right in the file. The change might have other reasons, but for the sake of the question lets assume it was changed by the update (if someone has a better example I'll edit the question).

I'm asking because I'm configuring my system with a system of templates which diff the result of variable substitution/the output of the template with the currently existing file and enforce confirmation so I have a change to incorporate changes to default values into the template.

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This appears to be caused by a bug as noted here and here.

In answer to your specific question, I don't personally know about any specific policies regarding commenting changes to values in configuration files but I would assume that you could ask that question of the package maintainers here and likely receive an accurate response as it's more in their realm than ours.

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