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 Luminair
by Luminair on Sun 24th Aug 2008 09:57 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

I have had the same thought thom, especially since gobolinux came out.

If a car engine could be so simple that anyone could fix it, would you build it that way? I would. I don't want to need a car mechanic to fix my engine.

So why not do the same with software? Car engines are not as malleable as software. Software we can make to do almost anything we want. It doesn't have to fit into a certain shape or size anymore. Possibilities may be limited only by imagination and ambition.

So why not build software so it doesn't require a mechanic to fix it? The real reason is "change is hard."

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Luminair
by FooBarWidget on Sun 24th Aug 2008 10:02 in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

Because it's impossible.

Software is complex. If it's broken, then that means it has a bug. Fixing a bug is rarely simple, and can even be disastrous when left in the hands of someone who doesn't understand it. Look at all the examples on TheDailyWTF.com. Or look at the recent Debian OpenSSH vulnerabilities, which were caused by the fact that a person who didn't understand it tried to "fix" it.

You can't fix something without understanding it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Sun 24th Aug 2008 22:32 in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

Man, OSX and Windows already do some of this better than Linux, so if you think it is impossible you are way off.

Software is complex, no kidding. The whole point here is to make it more understandable to humans. Not an impossible task.

You can't fix something without understanding it, no kidding. The whole point here is to make it more understandable to humans so more of them can fix it. Not an impossible task.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Luminair
by dagw on Sun 24th Aug 2008 22:53 in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

If a car engine could be so simple that anyone could fix it, would you build it that way? I would. I don't want to need a car mechanic to fix my engine.


Car engines used to be basically so simple that anyone with reasonable mechanical aptitude could fix most problems. Then people started making demands like more horse power, lower weight, lower emissions, better fuel efficiency etc. So to accommodate all this engines needed to be more complicated.

So yea, car engines could be a lot simpler, but most people didn't want that, they wanted features.

Same with software, sure it could be more simple and stable and with less bugs, but at the expense of features. Most people aren't willing to make that trade off.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Sun 24th Aug 2008 23:45 in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

Except your mutation of my analogy isn't correct. For example, simply moving all user binary files to one directory with a human readable name makes the system more simple and prevents bugs, and it doesn't sacrifice any features.

Reply Parent Score: 2