Linked by Jussi Pakkanen on Tue 17th Apr 2007 18:20 UTC
Editorial Let me begin by telling you a little story. Some time ago I needed to run a script at work once a day. We had tons of machines ranging from big Unix servers to Linux desktops. Due to various reasons the script could only be run on a desktop machine. However using cron was disabled on desktops. All other machines allowed cron.
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Actually, gobo and Mac do it opposite. in Mac they are in the fairly obscure directory names but presenting a virtual file structure that the user can see. In Gobo it is the user friendly filesystem that exists, but a hidden virtual file structure of symlinks exists for applications that are not "gobo-aware" to access. If this became standardised all apps would start to use the new filesystem

I myself have struggled with the Linux filesystem, I am never sure where a program should be installed, on my system there seems to be no less than seven install locations: /bin /usr/bin /usr/local/bin /sbin /usr/sbin /usr/local/sbin and /opt. While I see the need to seperate system binaries from appliaction varibales this seems a little to much. I also know I'm not the only one who gets confused, just look at the shebang line of sample perl scripts on the web to see the wide variety of locations that perl is insalled in.

Interestingly, some countries have changed side of the road. If memory serves Denmark did it and the way they did it was over a period of time new road signs were erected but covered up, and then in the space of one hour (in the middle of the night during which it was forbidden to drive) the right-side signs were uncovered and the left-side ones were covered up. Worked fine.

A more fitting analogy though since the use of symlinks enables a middle transitional phase would be metrication as when this happens usually products are labeled in both units for a period of time.

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