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Re: Niche for Hurd - discussion - the power of translators

From: Thomas Schwinge
Subject: Re: Niche for Hurd - discussion - the power of translators
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 23:50:42 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.11


I randomly picked one of this thread's many messages and am thus now
(only) answering to some random bits of it.  ;-)

On Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 03:58:39AM +0100, olafBuddenhagen@gmx.net wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 05:43:48PM +0100, Samuel Thibault wrote:
> > Arne Babenhauserheide, le Wed 29 Oct 2008 17:35:16 +0100, a écrit :
> > > Transparent ftp out of the box would be a cool feature, too. 
>    settrans -c /ftp: /hurd/hostmux /hurd/ftpfs /

When you have a node `ftp:' in your current working directory, then I
agree with that name, as you can then indeed use
`ftp://WHEREVER/WHATEVER'-style ``URL''s.  But as soon as it's no longer
in the CWD, wouldn't it be better to leave out the colon and use `/ftp'?
Analogous to the already-established `/afs', for example.

> Technically, it's not a big deal to set it up. But it's an enormous
> psychological difference whether you tell people "you can set up
> transparent FTP on the Hurd, if you find the magic incantation somewhere
> on the net", or "Debian GNU/Hurd comes with transparent FTP".
> I'll take any bet that setting up ftpfs automatically on installation
> would triple usage of that feature at least. It's the difference between
> an obscure feature hardly anybody will bother with, and something that
> might actually attract some people.

Some sort of killer feature for demonstrating it (even though not really
visible) was if apt-get used such `/ftp/WHEREVER/WHATEVER' paths to
download its files, instead of its current ftp-retrieval mechanism
(whatever that is).  Would also cause an enourmous amount of real-life
usage testing for the ftpfs translator.  Oh.  I just see that apt-get
uses HTTP URLs in `/etc/apt/sources.list'.  But perhaps it can do FTP as
well?  Someone could investigate.  Or we brush up the httpfs translator
-- perhaps it does even already work?  I have no idea.

> I wonder what it would take to get this into Debian as default...

If no one objects to the general thing, then it's just about adding one
line at the needed place in the hurd package's post-install script, and
sending that patch to Michael.

For httpfs (in case it's in a working state at all) it'd need some
(minor) packaging effort.


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