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SEUL: Fwd: Was: VI et alii, Proposal for RH 6.0

------- Forwarded Message
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 00:10:20 +0100 (MET)
From: Nils Philippsen <nils@wombat.dialup.fht-esslingen.de>
To: redhat-devel-list@redhat.com
Subject: Was: VI et alii, Proposal for RH 6.0


I followed the discussion on "VI or not to VI" as the standard editor and
mc dropping newbies into VI etc. pp. with being slightly amused about the
fact that people (including me) always complain about what they tend do
judge as wrong or bad but don't contribute in a constructive fashion (of
course there are exceptions) - there's the pro VI and the contra VI people
both of them explaining to the others why their opinion (in this case
editor) is best and so on.

Here are my thoughts about how to handle things to be as Unix compliant
(whatever this shall mean) as possible _and_ friendly to newbies as well:

- - Ability of the system to be configured at installation time in such way
that essential configuration files are setup in question-and-answer game
(or via some more of them cool newt dialogs :-). The (new) Linux user
(who _will_ be an administrator then) should make decisions for her/his
favourite editor with some short description of every possible choice. It
should be stated where this can be changed later, somehow this info should
be accessible to her/him later if (when) she/he decides to alter the
settings for the system. This should not be limited to profile, but say to
(at least) the default shell prompt (bah, next religious war) cause
some people are used to "$"/"#", some like the redhat shipped
"[user@host currentdir]", I'm preferring "user@host:completepath>",
some tend to prompts which contain the number of commands typed, etc.
and the usual window manager(s) and similar, because the factory
setting is nice, but far from perfect to anyones needs and preferences. My
thought is to (ab)use dotfiles for this.
 --> both Pro- and Con-VI's should be able to live with this.

- - Useradd (or is it adduser - don't know, I use my own scripts) should
provide a similar mechanism for adding new users to the system (same
should apply to usercfg for X, too).

While a "nice" environment should be there for newbies, the tools redhat
provides lack some warnings about overwriting things I hacked into various
config files, this should be fixed.

I think what we all need is a distribution which respects standards while
being as convenient to an average user as possible. One thing I missed on
RedHat was the less input filters from my former dist., Slackware. It's
just more comfortable to type "less blah.gz" or "less
/usr/src/dir/newman.1" or say "less foo.tar.gz" which will result in
displaying a compressed text file, a man page or a listing of a tar file
instead of binary garbage.

There's a lot work to do, but hopefully (I'm in a practical semester soon,
who knows if I've got time to do it then) those issues can be solved. I
realize I'm spending too much time writing email than doing something
really prdouctive :-)

Last I'd like to thank the people at redhat for a great distribution,
which - in fact - has to be adapted in this or that way, but it's the most
consistent one I saw (I can't say that I saw a lot though, just Slackware,
SuSe and DLD but coming from Slackware, well, it was a giant step).

(This had to be said, at least once)

Bye, Nils
- --
Nils Philippsen               @college: nils@rhlx01.rz.fht-esslingen.de
Vogelsangstrasse 115         @home: nils@wombat.dialup.fht-esslingen.de
D 70197 Stuttgart              Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards,
+49-(0)711-6599405           for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

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     Erik Walthinsen <omega@seul.org> - SEUL Project system architect
       /  \                SEUL: Simple End-User Linux -
      |    | M E G A            Creating a Linux distribution
      _\  /_                         for the home or office user