On Mon, Dec 01, 2003 at 01:36:55PM -0700, Thanasis Kinias wrote:
> scripsit Paul E Condon:
> > An OS should be configured to help a user avoid shooting himself in
> > the foot. To this end $HOME/bin should be at the *end* of the PATH.
> > This way, a new user who makes truly foolish name choises for his
> > first few programs, is not cut off from critical parts of the OS.
> It should not castrate me, however, in an attempt to keep me out of
> trouble. So long as it is possible for me to set my own $PATH, it's not
> really an issue, but _forcing_ me to put my own bin dirs at the end of
> the path is impolite. On the various non-Linux machines where I have
> only a user account, for example, I rely on being able to put GNU tar
> and coreutils in $HOME/bin and have them execute instead of the
> Solaris/IRIX/AIX/whatever versions.
> > On this issue, it is not good to assume that the user is competent.
> I prefer my OS not to make assumptions about my incompetence, thank you.
> That's one reason I use Debian, after all.
On this issue, the work around for the competent user, is to edit
.bash_profile to do what he wants. My comment concerns how it is set
up by the installer. It is dangerous for the new user. Not really
dangerous, like forcing him to do a whole new install. But dangerous
in that he can lose a lot of work by *thinking* that he needs to do
drastic things to recover.
For someone who already understands what PATH is and has well formed
ideas as to how he wants to work, it is easy to change. Debian, or any
other OS, would have a hard time stopping you. It so easy to change,
for the skilled user, that it is hard to argue that it should be set
in a way that saves him a few dozen key strokes each time he does a
new install, and also makes the first experience of even one newbie
Paul E Condon