Ubuntu Domain Server

Christopher Chan christopher.chan at bradbury.edu.hk
Tue Oct 27 23:49:06 UTC 2009

Derek Broughton wrote:
> Dotan Cohen wrote:
>>> I completely disagree.  There's no theoretical reason why a computer
>>> program couldn't do any of the above.
>> We are discussing practice, not theory. In theory, there isn't any
>> difference between the two. But in practice...
>>> "Professionals" are primarily required to
>>> protect professionals' jobs.  In practice, computers can't actually do
>>> any of those jobs _yet_, though it probably wouldn't be beyond current
>>> capability to have them rebuild engines or provide good legal advice (at
>>> least in any precedent-based legal system).  I certainly believe that UIs
>>> can be built that can do a better job of system and network
>>> administration than the average person currently doing those jobs, and it
>>> really doesn't matter how much you, or anybody else, thinks that those
>>> jobs _should_ be done by professionals - it isn't going to happen.
>> The problem with your examples is that they assume routine work. I
>> agree that for 90% of what professionals do, a computer could do
>> better and cheaper. One has only to look at the autobuilding industry
>> for a classic example.
> I think all of the "professions" have made it pretty clear that really, you 
> don't have to be a member of the profession to do most of the job.  
> Paramedics, paralegals, paragliders ...

Er, yeah, but you at least got some training before they let you loose 
to do what you have been taught to do. So in the end, it is not 
recommended that the masses get do stuff like that.

>> However, a professional must be present for the 10% of cases where
>> something goes wrong. In most (I admit not all) cases that means
>> having a professional available 100% of the time, so that he will be
>> there when things fail.
> Professionals need to be "on-call".  In fact, for most medical treatment, 
> the doctor _is_ "on-call".  If we could make the day-to-day administration 
> of servers simple and fool-proof, the small business owner might be far more 
> happy to consider keeping an expert on-call.

Sure, which is only possible with predefined fixed configurations that 
meet the needs of a mom and pop shop and that would be all the tools 
does; setup things according to the specification.

>>> Right or wrong, companies
>>> don't believe in paying professional rates for administrative work.
>> This is a valid viewpoint for them, as their interest is in saving
>> money. That does not mean that Ubuntu or any other entity needs to
>> give the impression that their GUI tools (which we have already
>> established covers 90% of use cases) cover 100% of their use cases and
>> no experienced professional is needed.
> Why would we ever say that?  It's way beyond the scope of the proposal.
You are saying that a system that creates disk images for installation 
and a software auditing tool does not require an experienced 
professional. Give me a break.

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