[OT] Debian mailinglists [was: RE: Debian or Ubuntu?]
lesmikesell at gmail.com
Tue May 20 15:13:20 UTC 2008
Derek Broughton wrote:
>> Derek Broughton wrote:
>>> No, actually it isn't. I'd be happier if it wasn't even possible to
>>> configure most servers with a text editor. I don't trust people,
>>> especially administrators who think they know everything. I particularly
>>> don't trust people to hand edit my ssh config.
>> You don't trust people, especially not sysadmins... but you trust
>> programmers. Ok then. Ker-plonk.
> Don't be a moron. Of _course_ we trust programmers. We trust them all the
> time, or we wouldn't even be using this OS.
And we trust them NOT to do something as stupid as requiring a GUI to be
working before you can edit the configuration to fix it or the
underlying OS. And we use this OS because everything it inherits from
the days before GUI's still works efficiently. If we wanted to be
forced to start a new window context for every process we'd probably use
> We trust Open Source
> programmers even more because we can audit their code. Anybody who thinks
> it's safer to edit a config file by hand than with a GUI isn't on my hiring
Safer isn't usually the point. If you have to edit a config file at all
it is usually because either the programmer got it wrong or you want to
do something he didn't consider. If you insist on having program
verification of everything, you won't be able to fix the situation where
the program is wrong and you won't be able to deal with any new
situations the programmer didn't expect. Also if the GUI editor is not
actually part of the program in question there's a very good chance that
it will be out of sync with the syntax is is supposed to help you with.
> There's a very good reason that /etc/sudoers contains this warning:
> # This file MUST be edited with the 'visudo' command as root.
> It's not a GUI (though actually, it could be) but it forces verification of
> the file before actually replacing the old file
If it were a GUI - and actually required... you wouldn't be able to fix
it easily remotely or with just a console login.
> <plonk> back at you.
There is a valid point that programs should provide a way to check the
syntax of their own configs that is less drastic than restarting them
and crashing, but the idea that something should keep you from making
changes that no one thought about before is very un-unix-like. If you
can't break it, you probably also can't improve it.
lesmikesell at gmail.com
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