Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Aug 2008 23:33 UTC, submitted by Charles Wilson
Editorial GoboLinux is a distribution which sports a different file system structure than 'ordinary' Linux distributions. In order to remain compatible with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, symbolic links are used to map the GoboLinux tree to standard UNIX directories. A post in the GoboLinux forums suggested that it might be better to turn the concept around: retain the FHS, and then use symbolic links to map the GoboLinux tree on top of it. This sparked some interesting discussion. Read on for more details.
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RE: Much ado about nothing
by jack_perry on Tue 19th Aug 2008 03:06 UTC in reply to "Much ado about nothing"
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

This conversation is starting to sound like the intemperate stamping of feet the hardcore command-line interface users made when GUIs came along, because remembering all those cryptic commands was soooo much easier than point-and-click.

/etc is much friendlier than "Documents and Settings" or "Program Files" for the people that actually care (sysadmins and programmers mostly).


Friendlier to whom? for the home user and budding programmer who'd like to experiment with his system settings? for the starting grad student who needs to type up his thesis? or for the power user who has become accustomed to the status quo and wishes all the n00bs would realize that computers are for grownups?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Much ado about nothing
by Delgarde on Tue 19th Aug 2008 03:22 in reply to "RE: Much ado about nothing"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

I think the issue is simply "why change?". The article argues that the existing layout is ugly and confusing - but the fact is, it's a subject that shouldn't matter. Calling a directory /Programs instead of /bin might be easier for a user to read, but the kind of user that's aimed at will be running programs from a menu anyway, not by entering a file path.

Changing things is pain (for developers and maintainers even if not the user) for no real benefit...

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Much ado about nothing
by DrillSgt on Tue 19th Aug 2008 07:10 in reply to "RE[2]: Much ado about nothing"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"I think the issue is simply "why change?". The article argues that the existing layout is ugly and confusing - but the fact is, it's a subject that shouldn't matter. Calling a directory /Programs instead of /bin might be easier for a user to read, but the kind of user that's aimed at will be running programs from a menu anyway, not by entering a file path."

Well, the fact is even if you call it from the GUI, and you do not have the right path though the program is installed, will not work.

The current system is archaic, and should be updated in some fashion. Think about it. The reason there is /bin and /usr/bin, is that hard drives used to be small as hell, and you would have those on different hard drives. Why can't everything be in one directory now? Forget /usr/bin,/usr/local/bin, etc...put them all in /bin, or in this case /Programs. We no longer need all those partitions/hard drives, so why have them?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Much ado about nothing
by cycoj on Tue 19th Aug 2008 03:29 in reply to "RE: Much ado about nothing"
cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

This conversation is starting to sound like the intemperate stamping of feet the hardcore command-line interface users made when GUIs came along, because remembering all those cryptic commands was soooo much easier than point-and-click.

"/etc is much friendlier than "Documents and Settings" or "Program Files" for the people that actually care (sysadmins and programmers mostly).


Friendlier to whom? for the home user and budding programmer who'd like to experiment with his system settings? for the starting grad student who needs to type up his thesis? or for the power user who has become accustomed to the status quo and wishes all the n00bs would realize that computers are for grownups?
"

I'd argue friendlier for everyone.

What do you think that programmer, grad student or power user actually want to do? If he wants to manually change some settings remembering that /etc is where system settings are being kept isn't that hard. If he actually wants to try using the cli one day (oh my god the cli!!) He'll be happy that the directory is called /etc and not /Documents\ and\ Settings.
What else would you want to do? Move things around in /usr or /usr/lib? Why? If you have the need to do this, you surely are able to find our what the directories are for before you do.

This whole discussion again sounds like: "I want Unix to be like windows because it so much more user friendly! (because I'm used to the windows way)"
The way the Unix filesystem is set up makes a lot more sense than windows, ever tried to keep your settings on another drive, maybe even switch between 2 different set of system settings? Hell it's already a pain in the ass to keep your user data and settings on a different partition.

Reply Parent Score: 7

jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

He'll be happy that the directory is called /etc and not /Documents\ and\ Settings.

I thought it would be obvious before, but /settings is a lot better than /etc.

This whole discussion again sounds like: "I want Unix to be like windows because it so much more user friendly! (because I'm used to the windows way)"


I don't use Windows, and haven't in years. My work computer runs Ubunto 8.04, and my home computer runs Fedora 8. That doesn't mean there isn't a better way.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Much ado about nothing
by leos on Tue 19th Aug 2008 03:34 in reply to "RE: Much ado about nothing"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

because remembering all those cryptic commands was soooo much easier than point-and-click.


Nice try trying to twist my words. Completely unrelated to what we're talking about.

Friendlier to whom?


I already said, sysadmins and programmers mostly. It's easier to type, and it avoids the issue of programs that choke on paths with spaces (yes, I still routinely encounter those at work).

for the home user and budding programmer who'd like to experiment with his system settings?


If any home user has to touch those settings, the system is broken. Changing the name to something else is not a fix, it's a band aid over a system that should never have forced a casual user into that directory. For a budding programmer, it really is no different. Except that they're going to rip their hair out when their linker gives an error like "Cannot find object c:\Program.obj" because of those paths with spaces in them.

for the starting grad student who needs to type up his thesis?


apt-get install texlive kile (or the equivalent from your favourite GUI frontend). Like I said, if that grad student needs to worry about anything outside of their home directory, the system is broken.

or for the power user who has become accustomed to the status quo and wishes all the n00bs would realize that computers are for grownups?


No, for someone who realizes that keeping track of system files is the system's job, and for someone who has better things to do than micromanage their system. Seriously, this is a non-issue for everyone but those self-professed "power users" coming from windows that are confused by change. No ordinary users could even tell the difference, and shouldn't have to.

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[3]: Much ado about nothing
by dexter11 on Tue 19th Aug 2008 12:07 in reply to "RE[2]: Much ado about nothing"
dexter11 Member since:
2008-01-11

The system can keep track of the system files in a directory called "settings" not just in "etc". It can also keep track of software in "programs" and not just /usr/bin. In fact the system doesn't give a damn about the name of the directories at all. So why don't we just call them what they are used for? Don't tell me that "init.d" is better than "bootscripts". So why no change? Because the old hardcore users should learn something new?

Why I agree on keeping the track of system files are the system's job I know that systems tend to break. I hate to bring up Windows again but I think it fits here because MS is probably the biggest software company on Earth, has thousands of developers including true geniouses on its payroll. But still Windows just like all OSes tend to break. That's when it needs fixing by the user. Should I call techsupport just because my OS has cryptic directory names and I can't find my way around because of it?

Maybe there are good reasons not use a file structure of Gobo but that doesn't mean that we should keep the old one to the end of times.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

Seriously, this is a non-issue for everyone but those self-professed "power users" coming from windows that are confused by change.


Odd. I'm not a "'power user' coming from windows" in any sense of the word. I've used Linux or OSX for nearly all of the last ten years.

I doubt the Gobo Linux users fall into that category either.

If any home user has to touch those settings, the system is broken.


The fonts? The startup scripts? If a home user has to touch those setting, the system is broken?!? Whose computer is it, anyway?

Reply Parent Score: 2