userconfig broken

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Sat Dec 29 17:30:13 UTC 2012

On Saturday, December 29, 2012 05:32:24 PM Alex Fiestas wrote:
> On Friday 28 December 2012 15:59:50 Yuriy Kozlov wrote:
> > Hi Alex,
> > 
> > Here is something I wrote up a while ago on userconfig and its target use
> > cases as I saw it at the time:
> >
> > 
> > Maybe it would be good idea to start with that set of requirements, or
> > with
> > a new version if there is a consensus that things have changed.  In any
> > case, having the use cases written down before development would help
> > answer questions like this.
> Well, that link has a description that says it all:
> Who it is for
> Slightly savvier users who want to add separate accounts for each person in
> their household.
> Should be easy to create a new user with typical permissions.
> Power users who are not quite at the sysadmin level and still prefer GUI
> tools to configuration files.
> Should expose all advanced features
> Now my question is, is Kubuntu targeting those users? Is that even a user
> group big enough to target to?
> I have been developing all my software targeting the group of users less
> interested in computers, and I believe Plasma desktop should be developed
> using that group in mind and offering alternatives for advance users.
> Example:
> 	-By default you receive files from bluetooth, nothing to configure.
> 	-If you are one of "those" users you can: change destination, activate
> "accept all from this device", share complete folders etc
> In the case of user management would be:
> 	-User wants to create a new user, s/he can easily do it
> 	-Advance user wants to add groups because... Well because he wants, he
> installs kuser/userconfig or use the command line.
> I want to know use cases for edit/create groups, if there are such I will be
> happy to implement support for it, if not I will make it so somebody can
> implement support for them easily and help him/her in the process.

I may be wrong, but I had always considered KDE to target both the user that 
doesn't care much about computers and users that are more into them.  The more 
advanced user is the reason that all of the customization options are 

While we should never enforce use of the GUI where it can be avoided, we 
should, IMO, also strive to enable people that don't like command line to 
avoid it.  When I say Linux to people one of their first reactions is commonly 
that they don't want to have to open a shell and type lots of commands.  The 
fact that I can honestly tell them that it's not necessary makes them much 
more comfortable with trying it out.

Userconfig was developed as a kuser replacement.  It was proposed to replace 
it, but it never quite got to the top of the TODO list, so it's not part of 

As far as targets for your development efforts, I think the "About Me" module 
covers the basic case and you should try to encompass both kuser and userconfig 
functionality in what you are doing.  KDE SC already has two user management 
functions ("About Me" and kuser) and I don't think it needs three.

Of course, Rome wasn't built in a day and software isn't either, so "Replace 
userconfig/kuser completely" may be a longer term goal, but I think it's a good 

As far as the case for group related functions goes, I think it is important 
to be able to see a list of groups and membership in groups because "Is xxx in 
group yyy" or "What users are listed as members of zzz" are reasonably common 
troubleshooting/support questions.  Personally, although I regularly edit 
/etc/group in vim on my servers, I use userconfig on Kubuntu systems because 
it's harder to screw something up.  Just because I can do it by hand, I prefer 
to take the safer route where I'm only checking/unchecking boxes and not 
editing directly.

Scott K

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