Subject: proposed: changes to "etc" (?)
To: None <tech-kern@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Paul Evans <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 12/09/1997 22:59:45
One of the specific draw backs of UNIX I keep running up against is the
difficulties related to configuration across software packages and 
different UNIXices. Specficly I'm talking about files in any dir that 
ends in "etc"

Having said that, I acknowledgbe there's nothing we can do about other 
peoples misguided beliefs (Hello Solaris Dev team are you there?)

I'm not propsing to instigate something the Red Sysadmin book refers to 
as a "vendor gratuitous change" But, I think an initive is needed here, 
for several reasons:

	1. difficulties in management due to differnces in format
	2. error prone by nature, i.e. typos
	3. lack of history log
	4. Security concerns (This last to are far ranging)
	5. Program inplementations of parsers are redundant (hence more 
		possible failure points)

>From what I can see there are two possible alternitive solutions:

	1. A user mode configuration library that uses a protected
		binary file. (a *gasp* registry)

	2. A VFS based solution involving mounting the above to create 
		the illusion of the files in "etc" (as ascii), but with 
		an API for program use.

Just wanted to pitch this out as I suspect it could have a lot to do with 
the proposed capabilties an HSM or new VFS layers/drivers 

thanks for listening.

	Paul Evans _