Configuration masquerading Data

Martin Owens doctormo at
Thu Sep 18 11:17:04 UTC 2008

Dear Felix,

> Aaaaahhh wait! It's nice you separated data and configuration, but to be
> honest: I really don't want my home directory to be flooded with data I
> don't even want do see outside the application!

Calm down dear, it's only a discussion.

> I don't want to have a
> folder "background images" in my home where the background images are, I
> don't want to have a "evolution emails" folder where I can get to my emails
> without opening Evolution itself! I don't think I'm alone with this
> thought...think of all the "non-power-user", for them it would be a tsunami
> of data they cannot handle...

I don't think it would be that much of a 'tsunarmi' not only would
defaults be selected in a way which would make them structured and
shared; but they would be configurable (even to the point of hiding)
and wouldn't exist until you needed them anyway.

> The idea is nice, but not for every program! Why should I want to access the
> emails directly?

Why wouldn't you want to? 1) Backup your emails without special
software, 2) Be tied to a specific program for the rest of your life
with special syncing software. 3) Unable to index emails without
special indexing software. 4) Be able to search for emails without a
searcher that integrates with said indexing software 5) Be able to
input and export to and from other services and devices without
special software.

In fact one of the themes of the above is that for every innovation
you need to have special software which interacts with the application
APIs or hidden proprietary formatted configuration files in order to
do anything interesting. It's a lot of wasted work which only comes
about because developers think it's nice to want to hide their user's

> I can use Evolution for that, its nicer and a lot more user
> friendly then the file explorer is! I think this is a big step in the wrong
> direction, you would like to use the email application just to make the
> connection and download the mails! That reminds me of the old telnet email
> clients - my uncle still uses one of them, because he's familiar with that -
> but we have really powerful applications now, we should use them!

So be it, no one said these folders couldn't be hidden in a teletubby
distro for those who are weak of heart. As far as a step in the wrong
direction I think not: the underlying technical principles set forth
in my previous emails would be valuable, if employed in an integrated
manner. they would allow people to move from/to gnome/kde/xfce without
having to "sync" data, it would allow programmers far more stability
and confidence in how to access various types of data, creating a
platform for more interesting ideas to be tried out.

Oh and most people end up creating a backgrounds folder anyway.

Best Regards, Martin Owens

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