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bug#20720: Inconsistency in text fields for 'operating-system'

From: Alex Kost
Subject: bug#20720: Inconsistency in text fields for 'operating-system'
Date: Fri, 05 Jun 2015 16:27:39 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

Ludovic Courtès (2015-06-05 15:30 +0300) wrote:

> Alex Kost <address@hidden> skribis:
>> Ludovic Courtès (2015-06-03 12:52 +0300) wrote:
> [...]
>>> An important criterion is whether the file needs to contain references
>>> to store items or not.  For ‘sudoers’ and ‘issue’, that’s normally not
>>> the case, and these are usually small files or computable files, so I
>>> think it’s fine to use strings here (more convenient than files.)
>> Well, I don't agree about ‘sudoers’.  It may be a really big file.  Mine
>> is not so big, but it is 40 lines long (including some useful comments),
>> so I have to use some additional guile code to convert the contents of
>> the file into string.
> Ah, good point.  So let’s turn ‘sudoers’ into a file-like object.


>>> Using monadic values as for ‘hosts-file’ and #:motd is not nice.  These
>>> should be changed to use either a string or a file.
>>> The best would be to always use a file-like object.  I’ve just added
>>> ‘plain-file’ for that reason.  Now I would change #:motd and
>>> ‘hosts-file’ to take a file-like object rather than a monadic value.
>>> WDYT?
>> I beg a pardon, but if I inderstand it correctly (probably not), I don't
>> see a difference from the user point of view.  Previously it was:
>>   (hosts-file (text-file "hosts" "..."))
>> and now it would be:
>>   (hosts-file (plain-file "hosts" "..."))
> Right.  But it could also be:
>   (hosts-file (local-file "/home/foo/my-hosts-file.txt"))
> This form is pleasant when the file can be long or when it has special
> syntax and you’d rather use the editor’s syntax highlighting.

Ah, This is great! Thank you.

>> I think I'm not competent as I have a vague understanding of all this
>> stuff and of user's needs (except mine ☺).  What I would like to have,
>> is a possibility to specify my configuration files for various services
>> and operating-system fields.  I don't want to write text configs in my
>> os-config.scm file (as it happens now with ‘hosts-file’).
> OK.  So that’s definitely in favor of using file-like objects pretty
> much everywhere.

Yes :-)

>> I'm very happy with the current behaviour of ‘syslog-service’,
>> ‘lirc-service’ and ‘console-keymap-service’ where I just specify file
>> names, e.g.:
>>   (syslog-service #:config-file "/home/me/my-favourite-syslog.conf")
>> and I like this ↑ way of specifying configurations very much!  That's
>> what I would like to see in ‘sudoers’ and ‘hosts-file’ fields.
> OK.  Note that this form (directly using a local file name) works
> somewhat by chance and should not be used because it defeats
> reproducibility.  That is, your OS configuration actually depends on
> that file in /home, which may be modified or deleted anytime, thereby
> changing the syslogd behavior in unpredicable ways.

Yes, that's exactly what I want!  I realize the benefits of the
reproducibility but often I just want my system to depend on
/home/... files that can be modified anytime.

> The right thing to do is:
>   (syslog-service #:config-file
>                   (local-file "/home/me/my-favourite-syslog.conf"))
> This means that the config file is automatically added to the store and
> made part of the closure of the OS config.  Now if
> "/home/me/my-favourite-syslog.conf" is removed/modified, the OS behavior
> remains unchanged.

And that's exactly what I don't want!  I don't want my config files to
be put into the store.  Because I have to reconfigure the system to see
the changes.  With my current unpredicable way, I can change my
syslog.conf and the next time I boot into the same system, I will face
the changes I made.

I realize that it sounds like a strange whim and is not what is supposed
to be done, but, well, I just like it :-)

> I’ll prepare a patch for that and report back.

Thank you, in spite of all I said earlier, I really like ‘local-file’!


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