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Re: all xterms

On Mon, Nov 01, 1999 at 12:40:23PM -0500, Brian Mays wrote:
> Tomasz Wegrzanowski <maniek@beer.com> wrote:
> > Tell us what are better (this means: easier for user and needing less
> > coding in existing apps) ways to have different xterm for each user.
> Okay.  Assume that every program that needs to run an X terminal
> emulator is modified to run x-terminal-editor (preferably, not
> '/usr/bin/X11/x-terminal-editor').  This is as reasonable an assumption
> as requiring every program to run '/usr/bin/sensible-xterm'.

Yes, this is equally reasonable.
> As far as I can see, it is just as easy for the system administrator to
> provide a link
>     /usr/local/bin/x-terminal-editor -> <preferred xterm-like program>
> or
>     /etc/alternatives/x-terminal-editor -> <preferred xterm-like program>

This is not so difficult also.

> (either will work, although the latter will work with programs that
> have a hard-coded path to x-terminal-editor) as to add a line to
> /etc/environment (or some similar file) to specify this program through
> an environment variable for every user.
> If a user is not happy with the default, then he always has the
> opportunity to provide his own such link in his own PATH or write a
> script, or whatever.  The example that has been cited on this list (by
> Branden Robinson) is
> PATH="$HOME/bin:$PATH"
> ln -s /usr/bin/X11/<xterm replacement> $HOME/bin/x-terminal-emulator

This is a problem.
Your way will need a non-standard $PATH on every account to do the trick.
We cant make default $PATH to point to the $HOME/bin nor $HOME/.bin cause
this directory most probable doesnt exist, we cant create it by default by /etc/skel
cause this is discouraged method (from:policy) so every user will have to
1) make dir
2) change every shell's config file for $PATH
3) make a link

Try to imagine that you have to set your favourite editor that way !
No, I dont like this.

> If this user is going to customize his account to any extent whatsoever,
> he should add such a directory of his own scripts, programs, and links
> to his path anyway.  This type of solution should be encouraged.
> Furthermore, this solution is not limited to Debian systems alone.  It
> is a trick that, in general, works on any Unix-like system.  (Don't
> forget that EDITOR, VISUAL, and PAGER are supported to remain compatible
> with common practice among traditional Unix programs.)  I think that it
> is better than providing an environment variable that is used only on
> Debian accounts, and I think it is FAR better than providing an obscure
> Debian-specific ~/.alternatives/ directory (which fortunately has not
> been advocated very heavily by you or anyone else on this list).

~/.alternatives/ is really bad idea
sensible-editor or any other good way would have a very wide use
in Asia. And it would probobly come out of Debian quickly.

> It is not like we are tying the hands of the system administrator.
> Anyone who wants to use an XTERM environment variable is free to put a
> script such as yours in '/usr/local/bin/x-terminal-editor'.  I don't
> think that such a script is necessary for all Debian systems, however.

But for nearly all Debian systems in non-ascii world.
I think more people would use $XTERM than $PAGER.
> > BTW : Is anything using x-terminal-emulator ?
> Not very much, since the x-terminal-emulator link is relatively new,
> but it is as easy to fix everything to use this as it is to modify
> everything to use sensible-xterm.

So both ways are open. Now we have to chose one

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