Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th May 2009 19:17 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Ask OSNews is apparently quite popular among you guys; the questions just keep on coming in. Since David took on the first two, we decided to let me handle this one - it's an area I've personally covered before on OSNews: file system layouts. One of our readers, a Linux veteran, studied the GoboLinux effort to introduce a new filesystem layout, and wondered: "Why not adopt the more sensible file system from GoboLinux as the new LSB standard?"
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Right on, Thom
by Wes Felter on Thu 28th May 2009 21:00 UTC
Wes Felter
Member since:
2005-11-15

The FHS is forcing us into "spray-on usability" where a simple-looking GUI obscures complex internals when we should probably be working on real usability: making the system internally simple and understandable.

People have opposed every cross-cutting usability improvement (udev, HAL, D-Bus, NetworkManager, PulseAudio, X on tty1 (!), compositing, kernel modesetting, etc.) yet they were eventually made, so there is some hope of fixing FHS. I suspect it would take a strong leader to push it through.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Right on, Thom
by phoenix on Thu 28th May 2009 21:55 in reply to "Right on, Thom"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

People have opposed every cross-cutting usability improvement (udev, HAL, D-Bus, NetworkManager, PulseAudio, X on tty1 (!), compositing, kernel modesetting, etc.) yet they were eventually made, so there is some hope of fixing FHS. I suspect it would take a strong leader to push it through.


Perhaps if they were real usability enhancements, then people wouldn't complain. ;)

udev, hal, and d-bus all use weird, esoteric, bizarre config file formats that no sane person can understand. XML for a human-editable config file? Seriously?

networkmanager keeps a completely separate configuration database from the OS config files, leading to two separate (more in the case of wireless) places to configure things. Perhaps on RedHat systems, where /etc/sysconfig/ is a horrible mess, this is an improvement, but on Debian system with /etc/network/interfaces, it's not. Then you add in all the different GUIs for it, and it's most certainly not a usability enhancement.

pulseaudio is yet another layer on top of a broken audio foundation. Adding layers does not make things better, it just hides it a little longer.

Having X on tty1 is not hard. Just edit /etc/ttys to disable all the virtual consoles except 1. Done. I do this all the time, to only have 4 virtual consoles, and X on tty4 (ALT+F5).

Compositing has some uses, and can be helpful for accessibility, but not sure how that can be a usability enhancement.

kernel modesetting may be a good thing, so long as the X side of it is done in a portable way (ie don't make the modesetting/using API Linux-specific, there's more to the free Unix-alike world than just Linux), and Xorg doesn't become locked into only working on Linux. If that happens, I'd call it anything but a useability enhancement. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[2]: Right on, Thom
by FooBarWidget on Fri 29th May 2009 11:52 in reply to "RE: Right on, Thom"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

udev, hal, and d-bus all use weird, esoteric, bizarre config file formats that no sane person can understand. XML for a human-editable config file? Seriously?


Why do you care? Do you need to edit the config files? For me udev, HAL and D-Bus just work, as they should.

Next up: "Computers are weird, esoteric and bizarre. They operate in base 2 instead of base 10? Seriously?"

networkmanager keeps a completely separate configuration database from the OS config files


Why should I care? I click on the NetworkManager icon, select a wireless network... and it works! I right click on it, select "Settings", and I'm able to configure my network manually using a nice GUI. Why should I care about your purist view of configuration files?

but on Debian system with /etc/network/interfaces, it's not.


As soon as you mention "/etc" you've already failed. I don't want to edit config files to configure my network. I want my system to autodetect the settings for me and I don't care how it stores the settings. The only way I want to configure it is through a GUI.

All this complaining about HAL, udev and D-Bus are only from people who for some reason think that poking in /etc is cool.

Reply Parent Score: 0