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Re: Should we implement a /etc/profile.d?

On Fri, 2 May 1997, Lars Wirzenius wrote:

> >  But every maintainer would need to know other shells.
> They can ask for help in debian-devel. Most stuff would be
> trivial, anyway.


> >  And... we could have a ~/.nodefprofile (?) so we:
> That's what I meant when I said it was trivial. :)  It only gets
> hairy if you want users to be able to allow some, but not all,
> special setups, which is also a desireable feature.

 Maybe.. but as there would be few files in profile.d, and as you would be
able to override a setting simply by re-setting the environment variable,
this doesn't seem too important too me...

> >  e. g.: fileutils would set color settings for ls, less would set
> Having ls output color settings by default is a bad idea, since
> not everyone has a color-capable terminal. It requires an option
> to enable it, i.e., you need an alias or shell function.

 This is easily fixable: testcolor && .... , where testcolor is some
binary (or whatever) that check if the terminal is color capable.

> It is also debatable whether it makes the system much easier for naive
> users -- in my experience (back when I was a teacher), a largish number
> of people get confused when anything unusual happens, and having some
> files be of different colors is unusual. 

 I agree that this can be discussed, but I also think that most users
expect to see colors. They have used other distributions, they know the
feature... many people feel disappointed when they don't get colors and
they have to take the trouble to learn how to set it. I know that you
would say "hey! we aren't working here for a user that get dissapointed
when he has to read a manpage" =) I'd said that setting these things is
part of being `friendly'... Even for experienced users... I find boring to
have to set up all those little things in new system.

> I don't know what LESSPIPE is (my less manual page doesn't know
> it). Could you describe? (Just so that I can try to shoot it
> down. :-)

 It activates a less feature. It points to a shell script that less runs
and tkes its output as the viewed file. This way you can do `less
pack.deb', `less readme.gz', `less file.tar.gz'... (It's pre-configured
this way in other distributions). Shoot..! =)

> >  So.. what should we do?
> Make sure programs work without special setup.

 For some things, using variables is more natural... and more consistent
with other distributions...

> >  I'd say that all sh-like shells should be grouped.. and we should require
> > only basic sh syntax...
> But that would prevent us from setting up a nice prompt. Not
> good enough, if we're going to do this at all.

 Well.. when I first thought about all this I didn't include the setting
of the shell itself... It can run it's own pre-configuration in its

> If someone wants to provide a nice setup for novices (which is
> definitely a good thing to do), they can put it in a separate
> package, and ask the sysadmin to install a suitable line in
> /etc/profile (and /etc/csh.login, and other similar files). That
> way, we can keep the base distribution clean. Even better,
> when someone else wants to provide a Better Novice Environment,
> they don't need to replace the base distribution.

 =) We could have themes..! What about a StarTrek theme for Linux? =)

 Serious: Considere that very often, the sysadmin is also a newbie (we all
was one once..!).

Nicolás Lichtmaier.-

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