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Re: The Strengths and Weakness of Fedora/RHEL OS management

Avi Alkalay <avi unix sh> wrote:
> On 4/3/06, Nicolas Mailhot <nicolas mailhot laposte net> wrote:
> > Even if you manage to elektrify Gnome and KDE do you think you'll have
> > more luck getting them agree on common keys than getting them agree on
> > common filesystem objects *now* ?

> Yes, this will be the next challenge. But at least will be a social
> challenge only.

Good luck with that.

Everybody who has had to handle people knows (from bitter experience,
mostly) that technical changes are extremely easy to bring about, social
changes very hard to impossible. Mostly you have to wait until the older
generation has died out, together with its ways of doing things.

> Currently nobody talks about any agreenment because the technical
> plumbing does not allow you to even think about it.

The other way around: If people don't /want/ to talk about it, the
existence (or not) of the techical means is utterly irrelevant.

>                                                     Elektra is not the
> turn key solution. Its impossible to have one in this bazar. It takes
> time. Elektra at least makes it possible to start thinking about it,
> but to solve the end problem requires a lot of discussions like this,
> which is good.

This flamew^Wdiscussion is going nowhere, it is only wasting everybody's

> > Every conf bit is an elektra key. Fine goal.
> > Everything in Unix is a file. Now does it get you much closer to app
> > interoperability?

> It is a step forward in a long walk. And in my opinion its very
> non-intuitive why converting it in keys makes this walk start. This is
> normal, and this is why we need a lot of discussions.

If it is, why isn't the "each byte in the configuration file stands for
itself" a step forward?

Some (simple) configurations can be described by a bunch of "Variable FOO
gets the value BAR", others just cannot (sanely, at least). There is stuff
like DNS, a web server for several domains, or the setup of a DHCP server
for multiple nets, where you just can't pretend everything is one flat,
uniform space. Configuration spaces have structure, and the whole idea of a
configuration file with a non-trivial syntax is to be able to mirror said
structure. The spaces aren't shaped equal, so either you end up squashing
everything into some (unnatural) flat representation or you end up with the
sum total of all (possible) diferent shapes (which is completely impossible
for a mere human to handle). Sure, you can decree that configuration files
are written in XML, which is expressive enough to create its own syntax on
a file-by-file basis, but even that doesn't help one bit with the mapping
of syntax to semantics (which /is/ the whole point, after all).
Dr. Horst H. von Brand                   User #22616 counter.li.org
Departamento de Informatica                     Fono: +56 32 654431
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria              +56 32 654239
Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile                Fax:  +56 32 797513

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