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Re: Announcing Fedora 11 Alpha (blink)



On Fri, 2009-02-06 at 07:25 +0900, John Summerfield wrote:

>    X Server
> 
> The key combination Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to kill the X server has been 
> disabled by default. To get this behaviour back, add the the line
> 
> Option "DontZap" "false"
> 
> The time people find this has the wrong setting and that they need to 
> change it us when the GUI has frozen and control-alt-bs doesn't work. 
> They, they will assume it's just too frozen.
> 
> Please make this default to "true." False _might_ be okay in RHEL, but I 
> have my doubts even then. At least the audience is different and the 
> arguments for "false" a little stronger.
> 
> contrl-alt-backspace is way better than the reset button (if it exists) 
> or the power switch, and those are the next choices for the trapped user 
> or sysadmin.

c-a-bs ought to be handled by the session as an alias for logout.  Or
possibly task manager.

I appreciate the hyperbole on the rest of this thread, and I really
don't have a strong opinion on the default setting (well, I do, but I'm
willing to bend to popular opinion), but I do wish to make the following
argument:

Window systems without a panic button, by and large, do not have
applications that take down the whole window system, because users are
unwilling to use such applications.  Therefore, app developers are
incented to fix their applications, and window system and driver
developers are incented to fix the system.  They might have apps that
take down the _kernel_, but a window system panic button wouldn't save
you there anyway.

Window systems with a panic button, however, do not have this robustness
property.  They can get away with having server functionality that does
not clean up properly, because there's always a janitor of last resort.
Likewise applications need not be overly concerned about fixing their
crash paths, because, why bother.  So they're never good, merely
adequate.

If someone can come up with a scenario where you really need zap, and
not just vt switch and/or logout dialog, I'm eager to hear it.  If you
can come up with one that isn't "some broken application took a server
grab and won't give it back", I'll even be interested.

- ajax

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