[OT] Debian mailinglists [was: RE: Debian or Ubuntu?]

Derek Broughton news at pointerstop.ca
Tue May 20 15:56:36 UTC 2008

Florian Diesch wrote:

> Derek Broughton <news at pointerstop.ca> wrote:
>> _webmin_ - it's the individual modules.  Personally (and list members
>> should by now be getting tired of hearing me say this) I believe that GUI
>> admin tools are _always_ the right way to do configuration, and this is
>> pretty much anathema to many of the hardline debian geeks.  Configuration
>> should always be possible through a question/answer system, rather than
>> hand-editing, because even the most experienced users make mistakes when
>> hand-editing, while a GUI tool should always prevent syntactic errors.
> * GUI tools usually don't have things like search, replace, undo,..
>   which makes them hard to work with except for very simple tasks.
> * Most of them don't support saving and restoring so it's hard to go
>   back to or compare with your old settings
> * Often they don't support comments which IMHO makes them close to
>   unusable if more than one person is modifying the config or configs
>   are worked with over a long time

Yet again, these are arguments against specific implementations, not
arguments against doing configuration with tools.  There's no excuse for a
gui tool not supporting save & restore.  Heck, if I was writing the tool,
I'd probably embed svn.  Yes, comments are important - so when writing a
config tool, _make_ people add comments.  If you're hand-editing, you
certainly can't enforce that.  The search/replace/undo business is harder
to implement, but there's no reason at all that the config tool shouldn't
or couldn't do it.

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