Subject: Re: /usr/pkg/etc/rc.d/*
To: NetBSD-current Discussion List <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 03/18/2003 15:49:40
[ On Tuesday, March 18, 2003 at 12:24:10 (-0800), Greywolf wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: /usr/pkg/etc/rc.d/*
> GAW> Maybe not to you the narrow-minded sys-admin....  :-)
> This in and of itself is rude enough to make me state that I will not engage
> further; however, your following paragraph needs to be addressed.

You obviously didn't see the smiley.....

> GAW> However history clearly shows that it is seen to be irrational to many
> GAW> kinds of users and particularly to developers doing system integration.
> GAW> This is not my opinion -- it's a well and widely documented fact and
> GAW> it's been an issue ever since there was more than one "competing" unix
> GAW> distribution.
> Point me to said "documentation".

There's no one thing to point at -- only years and years of posts to
Usenet and mailing lists the world over, as well as magazine articles
and other media where opinions are expressed.  That's one of the reasons
I used the word "widely".

> Boundaries are a good thing.

Only when they have a real and justifiable reason for existing.  In this
case though the boundaries you speak of are not only entirely artificial
they're also detrimental (as real-world boundaries so often are).

>  I, personally, don't like looking at a
> plate with the salad mixed in with the chili.

Well there are good reasons to keep salad and chili apart.  You may not
even eat them with the same utensils, never mind that you can't usually
pile chili up on a plate like you can pile up your salad.

However in the realm we're talking about we're talking about how people
find and use programs and they sure as hell don't want everything spread
around everywhere!  People generally use the same tools to "access"
their programs and they generally find it rather difficult to deal with
things that move around.  (I like /local, you might like /usr/local, and
AT&T, Sun, et al like /opt -- where's the sense in that nightmare?)

>  If you like that kind
> of thing, great, but you will find quite a few people out there who
> will disagree with you.  You may even find them in the majority.

I can assure you that I have never ever met any _user_ who likes such
artificial separation of tools.  On the contrary I have heard people
speak very highly of systems which integrate things nicely and
transparently.  Indeed I'm sure you've even mentioned a desire to have
true integration of some things in some circumstances, so why you make
an artifical line in the sand and jump out of that position sometimes
really confuses me.

> I dispute the "enormous controversy".  Had they had larger *and faster*
> disk packs, it never would have occurred.

As I've heard and read the stories speed had nothing to do with the
original split (everything was equally slow :-) -- it was capcity alone.
Indeed there are even stories of how things were cleaned up and reduced
to better fit smaller systems by examining last access times of binaries
to find out what tools were least used.

> I shouldn't have to by-guess-and-by-golly wander through, e.g., /usr/bin
> and say, "Hmmm, is this going to get clobbered on an upgrade?"

Why guess?  Make a list and check it!  Check it twice if you like!  This
is trivial with sort and comm, though obviously using pkg_* tools and
having system files registered in a "package" makes it easier and more

								Greg A. Woods

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