[nSLUG] Time to upgrade the server OS...

George White aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca
Sat Sep 18 08:47:36 ADT 2004

Quoting Donald Teed <dteed at artistic.ca>:

> In summary, I don't think the threat is from GUIs, as long
> as they still provide access to all of the features and
> are free from proprietary or non-standard config formats
> specific to a distro.

Very few GUI configuration tools meet your requirements.  Most
let you tweak a key subset of parameters, and rely heavily
on automated detection of hardware, etc. to set some of the 
things are aren't exposed in the interface.  I do appreciate the
tools that make it easier to do basic set-up. but a lot more could
be done to handle non-basic cases.  

There is still no substitute for a good overall view of how a 
*n*x system works. I see too many usenet postings that suggest 
editing some config file and then rebooting.  So add: 
[as long as ...,] and can enable the updated configuration by 
sending signals (e.g., HUP to reread a configuration file) to 
the appropriate processes, etc. 

I'm not sure we will get really good GUI tools until a lot more 
work is done to give the ascii files a more consistent syntax
and organization.  We have files that are essentially some 
flattened database, files that are just a list of shell variable
assignments, and a few legacy files with totally obscure contents.
Some files (e.g., fonts.dir) don't appear to support a comment mechanism.
Why can't we manage ascii config files with a revision control system?


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