Subject: Re: "cannot lock mailbox"...
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: der Mouse <mouse@Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
List: current-users
Date: 08/23/1997 20:15:38
>> What other utility keeps a user's files in a central place instead
>> of in that user's directory?  The only one I can think of offhand is
>> cron, and I'm not convinced there's any need to in that case either
>> - I'd prefer to see a user's crontab in $HOME/.crontab or some such.

> I dunno... Imagine a group of machines which all mount your $HOME
> from a central location... do you really want each of the machines to
> run your cron commands??

Good point.  Optionally, yes, I would - if you _do_ want to do
something on each machine, it's quite a pain with the current model to
make sure you've updated your crontab on them all.

Okay, how about $HOME/.cron (for all machines) and/or
$HOME/.cron.`hostname` (per-machine), then?  :-)  I think the case
where your homedir is shared among machines in different domains with
the same (non-fqdn!) name in `hostname` can be considered to be admin
pilot error.

> Moreover, cron would have to walk all users directories to be aware
> of crontabs, rather than walking the one directory with potentially
> smaller number of files (the assumption is that there will always be
> more users than cron users).

I do not propose that cron have to notice changes to .cron files
unassisted; I see no reason to change the user interface from the
crontab(1) model.  cron could keep a cache indicating which users'
crontabs existed; only in pathological cases (destroyed/corrupt cache,
for example) would it have to walk through all home directories.

Not that I am seriously proposing such a change to cron, though I am
interested in discussing the idea.  I just picked that as the only
example that came to mind of another subsystem that kept per-user stuff
in a common area rather than in the user's homedir - as opposed to all
the things that do keep per-user stuff in the homedir, like .Xdefaults,
.cshrc, .emacs, .forward (or equivalent), .hostaliases, .less,
.profile, .netrc, .netscape, .rhosts, .ssh, .xinitrc, .xsession...and
more depending on the system; on our SGIs, for example, I see
.desktophost, .desktop-`hostname`, .disableDesktop, .expertInsight,
.insightrc, .xSGINeWS.cmd...note .desktop-`hostname`.

					der Mouse

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