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Re: GNUstep directory layout

From: Tim Harrison
Subject: Re: GNUstep directory layout
Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 14:29:15 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.0.0) Gecko/20020529

Dennis Leeuw wrote:

* I would change DocTemplates to DocumentTemplates to be consistent with
all other directory names which are spelled out (that entire directory
should imho go into the Documetation directory since they are documents).

I would agree with using full words for directory names. DocumentTemplates would definitely be preferable. However, I must respectfully disagree with moving Doc[ument]Templates into a Documentation directory. Documentation is where, well, documentation lives. If there were to be many more types of templates, then maybe a $DOMAIN/Library/Templates directory should exist.

* Users doesn't belong in Network by default. By default Users are local to
a system, so they should belong in the Local domain.

Unless they're not local to a system. In some of the environments I work in, users are NOT specific to a local machine, except for root, and an administrative user. The rest are held in a directory service, and home directories are mounted from either a departmental server, or a central fileserver. These users should not be mounted in /Users, or /Local/Users, because, well, they're not local users. They're network users ("/Network/Users"). Or, in one case, they're users on multiple servers on the network ("/Network/Servers/<servername>/Users"). Yes, I could see the benefit of having <servername> in /Network, but it could also confuse the structure within /Network. However, point being, on these machines, I want only root and the administrative user to have home directories on the local machine itself, for situations when something needs to be managed on the local machine, and the NFS mounts are either not there, or not responding.

* The same goes for Servers, and imho is there a big difference between
Servers and Tools? Is the destinction between CLI and Graphical not enough?
Do gpbs, gdnc and gdomap then become part of Servers?

To me, gpbs is a server. gopen is a tool. Neither are graphical. However, in OpenStep/GNUstep(/Mac OS X?), tool seems to be specific only to non-GUI programs. Tough call.

But I think the most important thing I missed is the definition of the
domains. Without a clear description of what a domain means, one can argue
for ages. The above is based on my assumption that:

Check out the full proposal that Martin Brecher and I put together this past April. Martin wrote excellent descriptions of the domains.


User Domain: Everything installed by a specific user in his/her own home
directory, which actually should be /Local/Users/<user-name> (on a Un*x
system is could be a symlink to /home).

Symlink, sure. But user home directories should not be GNUstep-specific. I'm not going to move my home directories into /Local/Users, unless /Local is expected to be 100% always on my machine. Even then, I prefer to have my users closer to my root directory, with less levels of structure above them. Most GNUstep users don't fully integrate their GNUstep installations with their system (ie. quite a lot install into /usr/GNUstep, or /opt/GNUstep), so only a symlink *from* /home (or /Users) should be considered. But, now we have multiple ways of referencing the home directory. One part of the system could reference it one way, another might reference it a different way. Are you going to go through and change your installed users' home directories in the password file to /Local/Users/username from /home/username? What if your GNUstep is installed in /opt/GNUstep? Would you then change your users from /home/username to /opt/GNUstep/Local/Users/username?

This is how I view the system. And that restricts me in my choices for a
directory layout.
Comments welcome. Flame wars are useless... ;)

I don't flame, but sometimes wars start from the things I say. :/ I must be controversial by nature. :)

For an example of how GNUstep integrates into a specifically designed system, have a gander at the LinuxSTEP Filesystem Hierarchy document (http://developer.linuxstep.org/downloads). The LSFH is a combination of our original GNUstep proposal and our own structures. I'll be posting a new version of this document soon, with some much-needed modifications (the /System/ApplicationData structure needs some serious attention). This is what the new version of LinuxSTEP (working on it) will look like. I know it works well this way, because my workstation is built like this.

However, I'm open to suggestions as well.


Tim Harrison

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