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Re: GNUstep directory layout

From: Tim Harrison
Subject: Re: GNUstep directory layout
Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 16:57:59 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.0.0) Gecko/20020529

Dennis Leeuw wrote:

That might be an option too. But I don't see any argument for not moving
DocumentTemplates into the Documentation directory. I guess Documentation and
Documentation/Templates is clearer, then Documentation and DocumentTemplates on
the same level. Next to that document templates are actual documents, but I
think I said that before... ;-)

As I mentioned in my previous message, the $/Documentation directory is where documentation lives, not just "documents". A letter I'm writing to my friend in Toronto is a document, but it shouldn't be stored in the /Documentation directory. The file AutoDocTemplate.gsdoc is a document, in one way, but it is not *Documentation*. If there was a man page, or an html file, or somesuch that described how the AutoDocTemplate.gsdoc template worked, *that* I would expect to find in the $/Documentation directory.

Doc[ument]Templates should most likely reside in a /Templates directory ($/Library/Templates?), where one could find templates for all manners of things on the system

So I guess we agree on this. The should be a /Local/Users (nor argueing on the
amount of accounts that should be present there) and /Network should be kept
clean so a sysadmin can decide how to populate /Network.

Actually, I may not have been as clear as I could have been. We *disagree* on the /Local/Users scenario. I believe that /Users, or, on an existing non-GNUstep-integrated system, /home should be the location of users who are local to the box.

/Network should definitely be kept clean, but it sounds like you propose removing everything from there. If the admin wishes to modify directories within /Network, would that not require patching GNUstep? I would rather see the /Network/Servers, /Network/Users, and /Network/Applications remain "official" until a better way for managing NFS mounted GNUstep applications or user directories could be found.

While I write this I can almost hear Nicola scream with terror. How should he
implement this in his make files. How do we need to search the /Network
architecture without too much overhead for e.g. applications to run.

I can sympathise. :) However, if we can work out a way that works best, then it might save some future changes to and fro.

I think a little config file is needed for that. Like an entry in the defaults
db where a sysadmin can tell to the system what the search paths are and that
GNUstep.sh/.csh can use to set $PATH or something like that.

Defaults doesn't sound too bad, but that, I think, is a discussion for the more code-oriented folk on the list.

Yep. I understand the confusion. But I am afraight that Servers will add to this
confusion, when is something a server. is X11 a server or is it a client. A
Tool, a App or a Server.

Well, I see X11 as a server, and the applications that run on that server as clients. Hence the common monikers of "X server" and "X client". To me, a server provides access to data, while a tool is used to gain access to data, or to modify data. One gives, and one receives or manipulates on behalf of the user.

The split between App and Tool is not a clear one but gives the user an idea
what he might expect and probably what is expected from him/her. For Tools he
needs to get to the console, for Apps he can say in his save graphical
interface. It's all about user perspective, not if it is technically or
syntactically right.

The problem with perspective is that everyone has one. :) If we name or organise things by perspective, no one will agree, I'm sure. :)

To throw an OS X wrench into the works, there's also "utilities". This is an organisational grouping under the Applications directory in OS X, where things like Disk Copy, CPU Monitor, and Audio MIDI Setup reside (can you tell I'm casting a glance at my Jaguar box? ;))

I know that document :-) But is that the GNUstep vision. Is that what Adam or
any of the other developers mean?

Well, I think the point is that we're trying to work out *what* the GNUstep vision is. I'm not saying that the GNUstep developers agree with Martin's descriptions. That's why it was a proposal. If they were to agree with what's written, then that could be the "official" description. As I've frequently explained to many people in many different forums and venues, we're not trying to force GNUstep to do *anything*. We merely put together a (rather lengthy -- man, was I tired of documentation after doing the GSFH and LSFH proposals :)) document to help clarify some structures, and suggest modifications that we felt would be beneficial. I couldn't find, and no one could provide me with, documentation on why things were done the way they were. So, I thought it would be helpful if we did some of that work. And, as I said when I originally posted it, if no one likes it, that's fine. However, having developer documentation is a real bonus. It was just our little way of trying to help the project out (and because I'm a notoriously bad developer, documentation is the only thing I could offer, myself ;)).

I completely agree. It was just meant as an idea for someone that tries to build
a complete GNUstep system.

Being in the process of doing just that, I still think that the Users domain should reside outside of the Local domain.

For me it is quite simple. I have my normal users use /home/<username> and those
that want to use GNUstep get /usr/GNUstep/Local/Users/<username> as their home,
and yes I adjust /etc/passwd for that, or actually an adjusted adduser script
does that for me :-)

Then you get two different places for local users. That becomes confusing in a large environment. I just migrated a school district from Windows 2000/NT and AS/400 to Linux and a few Windows 2000 servers -- having users in different places, even on the same box, in a large environment is a nightmare :). Knowing my local users reside in /Users, and my network users reside in /Network/Users (or /Network/Servers/<servername>/Users) is much easier than having some in /Users, some in /Local/Users, some in /Network/Users, and some in /Network/Servers/<servername>/Users.

Of course, on non-GNUstep or non-LinuxSTEP machines, I put my local users in /export/home and remote users in /export/<servername>/home, but that's just because I spent way too much time with Solaris. :)


Tim Harrison

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