Another idea of mine for increasing the desktop-friendliness of Debian would be
an tool written using debconf which would allow the user to perform all (or nearly
all) administrative tasks. It could consist of a basic entry-point, or rather one for
each back-end supported by debconf, into which modules in the form of scripts
using debconf could be plugged. The tool itself might do no more than display a
list of categories and when one is selected the modules available in that
category. Debian packages could drop a script into the tool's module directory to
add their modules.
The modules need not have problems when used in a mixed way with manual
configuration editing and other configuration tools. That is, if a section of a
configuration file doesn't need to be changed it should be left as it is, including all
comments and formatting, and if a section needs to be changed and it has been
edited manually in a way that the module can't parse, the module should warn
the user before making changes.
The nice thing about this would be that it would allow a consistent, text-editor-less
and command-line-less administration of a Debian system regardless of which
desktop environment is in use. I particularly like the idea of a small headless
server being administered this way using the web-GUI interface, which should be
possible with a bit of fiddling and little coding. I realise though that it may be hard
to convince the Debian community as a whole that this is a "good thing", and that
without that it has no value.
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