Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 15:37 UTC
Editorial Earlier this week, we ran a story on GoboLinux, and the distribution's effort to replace the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard with a more pleasant, human-readable, and logical design. A lot of people liked the idea of modernising/replacing the FHS, but just as many people were against doing so. Valid arguments were presented both ways, but in this article, I would like to focus on a common sentiment that came forward in that discussion: normal users shouldn't see the FHS, and advanced users are smart enough to figure out how the FHS works.
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Comment by Traumflug
by Traumflug on Sun 24th Aug 2008 07:49 UTC
Traumflug
Member since:
2008-05-22

For me, the GoboLinux approach clearly goes into the right direction. Many packages use their own subdirectory in /bin, /lib, /etc, ... already and Gobo makes this movement complete. Like putting the vision on the goal instead of looking at the next step.

What I'm missing are different places for distribution installed packages, admin installed packages and user installed packages. Many people have root privileges on their own machine these days but this is by no means always the case. Once you set up a Linux box for your grandma or your kiddies, you should think twice before you grant them root privileges. University and corporate environments are other examples.

There are two bright things Gobo achieves I've not seen mentioned yet:

First, once developers have learned there is not necessarily an /etc or /tmp or /bin directory, they learn to use system functions to find what they look for. Many apps do this already, als GNUstep, Windows and Mac OS X strongly recommend this way. That done, some of the links can vanish.

Second opportunity to get rid of legacy cruft is to teach the executable finding mechanism, which currently uses the PATH variable directly, not only to look at /Programs, but also at /Programs/*/current/ . These big link directories Gobo crafted are currently necessary, but with a few not-so-complex changes to the kernel, they can got away entirely.

So yes, Gobo advances in the right direction and once they've done a few steps more, ugly hacks like hiding directories via an kernel extension can be taken back without disturbing the bright picture.

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