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

Shane Stixrud <shane geeklords org> wrote:
> On Mon, 3 Apr 2006, Horst von Brand wrote:
> > 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).

> Have you even read how Elektra works or looked at the earlier
> multi-subnet dhcpd.conf examples?  There is nothing about Elektra that
> is flat nor does structure have anything to do with semantics! 

There is the central problem: Semantics /is/ structure, can't get rid of
the one without losing the other.

> Elektra's format contains all of the functional elements required to
> EASILY generate dhcpd.conf in its entirety... this has been stated
> previously...

Isn't useful at all unless everybody shares the same configuration
variables. And getting everybody to use the same configuration variables is
a nightmare...

Having everybody use their own namespace is exactly the mess we are in
today, just with the same syntax all over. This is a very minor (if any)
step forward; I'd say it is more of a sizeable step backwards.

That there are several backends (plain files, filesystems, gconf, Win
registry, ...) just adds a (useless) translation layer that can (and thus
will) break when the underlying "real" syntax changes. Plus it goes haywire
all the same when some bright mind decides to change the meaning of some
configuration construct...

Pray tell, how does adding just another (pretty-printed, I'll grant you)
mess to the mix disentangle the whole?

Again, Turing machines have all the elements to construct the kernel in
them. Why doesn't somebody do so? 

> I am trying to decide if you are purposely being obtuse or just
> operating on pre-conceived notions... I am trying to give you the
> benefit of the doubt.  IF this thread has low value I dare say it is
> because of posts like the above that leads to distract and confuse the
> actual discussion.

There is nothing useful to discuss: Elektra is just the Windows registry,
done for Unix, /over/ the existing configuration system. It failed
miserably there (where they /do/ have the advantage of a rather thight
central control point, and no underlying configuration schema that could
change under their feet), it can only do much worse here.
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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