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Re: Bug#197835: [PROPOSAL]: integrated environments are allowed

On Tue, 2003-06-17 at 20:28, Colin Watson wrote:

> I think this is very bad. At the moment policy says that my EDITOR and
> PAGER variables have priority over what random programs think is a good
> idea, which I think is excellent. 

Yes...but the idea is if programs have a preferred version for a
reason.  Integrated environments like GNOME and KDE have very good
reasons to prefer a particular editor, namely the one they ship with. 
You should think of it as part of the program itself.  We're not making
Emacs invoke vi just because $EDITOR=vi, right?  Likewise, when I browse
to a file with Nautilus, I don't want to see the file open up in Emacs
(which have as $EDITOR).  Maybe some people want this behavior, but the
problem with this (as opposed to $BROWSER) is that a *lot* of people are
going to have $EDITOR set.

For other standalone programs though, obviously it makes a lot of sense
for them to use $EDITOR and $PAGER.

Again, this is simply codifying the status quo.  Nothing in Debian
should change.

> If programs get to pick a default that
> overrides my EDITOR and PAGER then it all degenerates into chaos.

I think we use common sense here.

> If what you really meant was that the order is as follows:
>   * program's preferred editor or pager
>   * /usr/bin/editor or /usr/bin/pager
> ... then that would be slightly better; it dilutes the effectiveness of
> the editor and pager alternatives, but that might not be *too* bad. It's
> late here so I haven't fully thought it through.

The problem again is that unlike BROWSER, a ton of people are going to
have EDITOR/PAGER set.  Of course I should say I have no statistics to
back it up, but I believe it to be true.  However, it does feel weird to
treat BROWSER differently than EDITOR and PAGER.  Maybe we should do the
same for BROWSER.

We have to face the fact that policy was written before there was
anything like an integrated desktop environment.  At the time Debian was
just a random hodgepodge of unrelated software, and Debian's main task
was trying to get it to work together in some sane fashion.  But now we
have software that's all *designed* to work together from the start.  By
imposing Debian's own view of how things should be done on it, we're
breaking that which gives it value.

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