Vote for new Ubuntu Feature---Let's try it again --- and without getting all religious about it

Derek Broughton news at
Fri Jan 12 01:07:43 UTC 2007

Matthew Clarke wrote:

>> Nobody has yet explained to me what the problem is with simply using
>> your brain for something besides keeping your skull from caving in, and
>> thinking about what you're doing for the .32 seconds it takes to
>> realize you're opening something in read only mode.
> This argument doesn't hold a lot of sway for me.  There are many
> reasons why people (read: fallible human beings) will get into the
> situation described by the OP that have nothing to with "being dumb".
> For instance, being new to linux, being rushed, being tired, etc

That's actually _exactly_ why Jeffrey's view is important - none of those
are good reasons for letting someone bypass security.  Those are _exactly_
the reasons to enforce security, as they are the situations that lead to
error. I just disagree that Chanchao's suggestion in any way bypassed

> Um, isn't Ubuntu a GUI OS?  

At heart.  Yes, it has server versions, but it began with a Gnome desktop.

> If ubuntu wishes to compete with the other 
> major GUIs (bug #1), then it better start spending effort to _assist_
> users that have erred rather than hanging them out to dry.

But there is never any hanging out to dry.  I don't know of a tool that
would let you do any serious amount of work and _then_ tell you you don't
have privilege.  Aptitude is probably about the worst, as it can take about
30 seconds reading in files before it realizes you can't actually install
anything, but it doesn't actually let you type more than the command line
before it fails.  If you edit a large file, you can always save it to /tmp
and then copy it where you want it.  Or, you may as I did last night, edit
a system script, try to save it and be told you can't, realize it's
probably just as well, and then save it in your home directory.

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