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Re: [desktop] Unix configuration nightmare


On Thu, Oct 24, 2002 at 12:19:20PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > 2.  It might be interesting to develop either colorized vim or emacs
> > modes that were invoked when editing only-partially-editable files, such
> > that the "hands-off" part appeared, say, in some distinct color.
> A nice idea, but my guess is that a lot of the people who struggle with
> concepts like "put your changes before ### BEGIN DEBCONF AREA or after
> ### END DEBCONF AREA" also aren't using Vim or Emacs.

Well, as one of those who edit config files but don't grok the ### HANDS OFF
HERE concept, maybe I should explain why I did it (and yes, now I've seen
the error of my ways and lo and behold... it works just like Branden
promises!). The reason is... it feels bad. You duplicate one of the sections
in the debconf area, change it a little and put it up front. Two identical
section headers in config files just go against every ingrained belief in
fighting redundancy. Also, I was not so sure where to put my updated
section.. before the DEBCONF area? After it? When would *my* section win
over the debconf area section, and when would it lose? (Sure it's
documented. But it's not... intuitive.)

Taking a look at the other side, I must confess that just deactivating
debconf support for the X config file feels bad, too (like an evil, though
supported, hack). Luckily, I was bright enough not to complain about "that
weird ### BEGIN DEBCONF AREA stuff" and almost settled with re-updating my X
config file after every X update. Until I got a clue.

You may now officially brand me as stupid, but maybe this relevation(sp?) 
helps design a better system/a bigger warning message/whatever.

-Malte #8-)

(Maybe a debianplanet vote on "Did you know you can put your own config
changes into /etc/X11/XF86Config-4?" - "No. What's this?" "No. I do this
manually." "No, it felt forbidden" "Yes. I'm Branden." could shed some
additional light on this important issue... :))

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