Dependence on Gnome's System Menu

George Farris farrisg at
Wed Feb 22 18:33:40 GMT 2006

On Wed, 2006-22-02 at 11:56 -0600, Rocco Stanzione wrote:
> As a non-Gnome user I've become increasingly frustrated with Ubuntu's 
> dependence on Gnome's configuration/administration interfaces.  My first 
> problem was with the removal of alsaconf, which admittedly sucks, in favor of 
> using the Gnome interface.  I even submitted a patch to asoundconf to make 
> life easier for non-Gnome users that was rejected (at first) with the 
> explanation that Gnome's interface was the preferred alsa configuration tool.  
> Today I'm working with CUPS and I see that /admin in the web interface is 
> effectively disabled "for security reasons" and that I should instead use 
> Menu System > Administration > Printing, which of course I don't have.  KDE 
> has a similar interface, but it currently doesn't work very well out of the 
> box, at least for me, and maybe I don't use KDE either.
> I'm objecting here to our habit of crippling or even removing more traditional 
> configuration and administration tools in favor of a very specific interface.  
> I'm all for Gnome having such wonderful tools, but similar tools have existed 
> without Gnome for a long time, and it frustrates me to see them abandoned 
> with the apparent assumption that all Ubuntu users are Gnome users.
> Since CUPS caused the frustration that prompted me to post this, let me 
> address it specifically.  CUPS listens only on localhost out of the box.  If 
> I'm not mistaken, the Debian package we get it from only allows users in the 
> lpadmin group to access /admin.  These two facts combined leave me pretty 
> comfortable with allowing access to /admin, and frustrated that I have to 
> hack up cupsd.conf on every Ubuntu installation to facilitate it.
> Anyway there seems to be a philosophy here that Gnome config tools are the way 
> to go, and if there's something we don't like about another tool, we remove 
> or disable it and point users to something like "Menu System > Administration 
> > Printing" which, again, I for one don't have.  Questions on various forums, 
> even development forums, about CUPS administration and audio configuration 
> are inevitably answered with instructions for accessing the appropriate Gnome 
> tool.  I'm happy to contribute to alternative solutions, but it seems the 
> kneejerk reaction to anything like that amounts to "Rejected: use the Gnome 
> tool."
> </rant>
> Thanks,
> Rocco Stanzione

Are you saying here that Ubuntu shouldn't try an offer a consistent
interface to their users?  Being in, for example, a corporate or home
environment, I want a consistent and easy to use tool for performing
these operations and that is what I get with Ubuntu.  It's easy to talk
other users through, looks good and fits in with the rest of the
desktop.  IMHO this is the right way to do this, much the same as
Windows and Mac.  I'm not talking (KXE)ubuntu here just Ubuntu. 

You are of course free to install other tools to perform these
management functions.  The CUPS web interface is not fully functional
out of the box I believe due to that fact that Ubuntu doesn't use the
root account per say.  Not really sure as I don't use it.

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