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.
Thread beginning with comment 327863
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Sun 24th Aug 2008 23:45 UTC 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

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by dagw on Sun 24th Aug 2008 23:55 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

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.

I fail to see what bugs that would prevent or what problems would be significantly easier to fix. Not that it's necessarily a bad idea, but I fail to see what you win.

If you're going to do something like that, why not go all the way and use a solution closer to what OS X uses.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Mon 25th Aug 2008 02:21 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

> I fail to see what bugs that would prevent or what problems would be significantly easier to fix.

man, how much software depends on the file system?

making the file system easier to work with will affect every upstream software, from package managers to Open File dialogs.

Where is smb.conf on my computer? Can you help me with it? File search says there are two. Do you know why? Come on, give me a break. The complexity of the linux file system design is causing headaches in places we cannot even comprehend.

I just searched the firefox bugzilla for the first relevant thing to come to mind, "usr". There are too many bugs to display. I just picked one: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=246672

I've seen bugs like that for longer than I can remember. Mozilla.org released builds should look for plugins in /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins. SuSE uses /usr/lib/browser-plugins, according to Hendikins. Someone in FC2 reported the plugins were in mozilla-1.6/plugins, and mozilla/plugins was empty. Holy shit, lets get some standards that make sense.

How many bugs would have never existed it present unnecessary complexity never existed? It might be possible to guess. My guess is a lot. How many tech support problems would have been easier without that complexity? Again my guess is "a lot"!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by lykwydchykyn on Mon 25th Aug 2008 02:53 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
lykwydchykyn Member since:
2008-08-24

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.


Actually, it would remove some features -- just to mention 3:
- being able to put /usr on a remote filesystem
- keeping superuser-only files out of normal user's paths
- being able to keep non-package-manager-installed files from those installed by the package manager

But I guess you might argue that these aren't common use-cases and thus not compelling enough reasons to put binaries in different directories. But I guess I don't see a compelling enough reason to sacrifice features like this to accommodate the odd situation where someone needs to know where their executable is. I just don't see how it's that big of an issue.

Seems like the real issue is that the FHS is not well enough defined or followed. I wonder how many distros even have a clear standard for how they define the hierarchy?

Reply Parent Score: 2