Hi all,

in our project we are delivering a set of playbooks and roles to our 
customer on a regular basis. Our goal here is that the customer should not 
change our playbooks and roles and that he is able to configure & overwrite 
*within his inventory via inventory variables, so that he doesn't always 
have to merge his configuration when we deliver a new release to him. 
Unfortunately, this approach is currently not possible when using the 
include_vars module anywhere in our code because it overwrites the 
inventory variables defined by the customer (which should take precedence 
of course).

I think this is a quite basic use case and I'm a little bit unhappy that 
there is still no solution for this yet. E.g. it was already discussed 
within Proposal #21 <https://github.com/ansible/proposals/pull/21>. In that 
discussion, I proposed a very easy, minimally invasive solution for this: 
Just adding an option to include_vars which makes it possible to define 
that already existing variables should not be overwritten by include_vars. 
Probably, this would also be a helpful option for other use cases as the 
one described above. For implementation of this approach, I created PR 
#23738 <https://github.com/ansible/ansible/pull/23738> already longer ago 
and it's idling quite a while now. A few days ago, I reimplemented this PR 
against the current devel branch and added documentation as well as an 
integration test.

I would really appreciate if some of you may interested in this topic could 
review this PR (it's just a few lines of code!) and take part of the 
discussion how to solve this use case.

Thanks in advance,

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