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Re: miscutils snag/questions for all

Jeff Noxon writes ("Re: miscutils snag/questions for all"):
> Agreed, but the util-linux people have already made up their minds to
> replace fdisk 2.0 with fdisk 3.0.  All recent fdisk 2 maintenance has
> been happening in util-linux, and they're about to stop because the
> program is overhacked, buggy, and ugly.


> Apparently there is work going on to make a cfdisk front-end for fdisk 3.

With all due respect to the author of cfdisk, cfdisk isn't a
particularly good interface.  I speak as someone who has done a
not-particularly-good interface and knows how hard this kind of thing
is to get right ...

> > I'd like to continue to have an fdisk which is like fdisk 2, and I
> > don't see why fdisk 2 can't be maintained (but then I haven't looked
> > at the code).
> There are bugs in fdisk 2 related to very large disks that I am
> not in a position to work on myself.  These bugs have been fixed in
> fdisk 3.

No, what you mean is that fdisk 3 doesn't have similar bugs.  AFAICT
fdisk 3 didn't start from fdisk 2 and I wish people would stop touting
it as a replacement for fdisk 2.

fdisk 3 is no good as a replacement for fdisk 2.

> I will contact the author of the fdisk 3 program and try to convince him
> to keep maintaining the package outside of BOGUS.  I don't think it is
> too late for that.  In addition, any changes or front-ends I write should
> be available outside of Debian.


> I think the best bet is fdisk 3, with two front ends:  fdisk 2, and
> DOS fdisk.  Both are fairly easy to use.

Fine, except that I have one caveat.  I've already seen an example
where fdisk 3 read a partition table into its `editable' format and
then rewrote it to be different.

One thing that is very important in an fdisk program is that it
doesn't modify entries you don't touch, even if they're full of

I'm starting to ask questions like `surely it would be easier and more
reliable to write the backend yourself than to use a subprocess'.

> > Will a fdisk 3 with a DOS-like front-end be as flexible as fdisk 2 ?
> It would probably be somewhat more complicated than DOS.  I would hesitate
> to make it _too_ much more complicated.  It should be easy for new users.



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