On 12-Feb-2009, at 9:59 PM, Andrew Reilly wrote:
Even if you accept that that's a reasonable price to pay for a slick, integrated desktop that doesn't require terminal window incantations for anything, if nothing else you're signing someone up for a lot of work to make sure that hal tracks on-going changes in both the kernel and NetBSD infrastructure, and however the up-stream reference (Linux, probably) wriggles. How long will a dynamic, dbus+hal configuration be able to coexist with rc-NG/rcorder? I know that the Mac OS control GUI functionality has subsumed most of that under launchd and a forrest of plists. Not that that's necessarily a wrong design decision, but there's no escaping the fact that it's a lot different from /etc as it is now. And that changes the base system, or has to track changes to the base system as a fork.
Well said, that's it exactly!As another example of just how far vendors have _always_ gone to subsume OS configuration and control into the "desktop environment" is IBM's AIX SMIT. AIX was inexorably removed from being a "normal" unix from the sysadmin's point of view once it gained SMIT. They still used command-line tools that SMIT would invoke, but inevitably everything about /etc was pretty much lost and gone and borgified into something quite different and much more difficult to understand and use (even with SMIT! :-)).
I don't know why it can't be done in exactly the same way, and remaining compatible with the way, a human sysadmin manages systems with vi/emacs and such, but no _successful_ desktop integrated management system ever has has done it that way to the best of my knowledge.
Modern end users of desktop systems expect an even greater integration between the desktop and the underlying OS than ever before and so if NetBSD is to gain a good desktop environment it may very well be that it _must_ be at the expense of the comfortable and easy human sysadmin management ways we have now.
-- Greg A. Woods; Planix, Inc. <woods%planix.ca@localhost>
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