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Re: Susu and Rum patch for coreutils-5.2.1

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: Susu and Rum patch for coreutils-5.2.1
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 09:48:50 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Alpt wrote:
> Recently two of my friends lost their /etc and /var, but they lived
> in *nix for 5 years.

I think maybe people are doing too much general purpose work while
logged in as the superuser.  I have been doing this for quite a few
years now and consider myself proficient.  But just the same I try to
do all of my work as a non-root user.  When I need to perform a
superuser operation I become root, perform the operation, then return
to being a normal user.

I am also a huge fan of the UPG (user private groups) process for
normal users.  I really like the way way Debian uses groups for
managing /usr/local and /usr/src.  By using techniques such as those
you can avoid needing root for many tasks that traditionally have
required it.

> Ok, let's rephrase it: if you crashed with your car and you're still
> alive then, even if you are experienced, you can still crash with
> it. no? eheh ^_.

Every so often I make a mistake.  Everyone does.  This is similar to
making a mistake with a wood chisel in the wookshop or a knife in the
kitchen.  In those cases you can injure yourself.  Woodworking tools
and kitchen knives are obviously terribly dangerous things and we must
all work to abolish their use!  We must make them safe so that users
cannot hurt themselves.  Right?  But would anyone trade in those tools
for "safe" versions of them?[1]

> So why don't let the user keep a list of important directories or
> files ?  It's just an handy option, the user can decide to use it or
> not, and surely it doesn't protect him totally because there are so
> many ways to smash the own machine, but at least it's better than
> nothing :)

Usually the user does not know the list of important directories until
after they have removed one.


[1] I think Walter Keonig first proposed this thought experiment.  But
I have seen writings by Rob Pike that were similar.

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