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Single-user vs multi-user ystem configuration suggestion

[Perhaps this should go to the devel list, but I don't subscribe to it

This is about Debian's sometimes not-complete configuration on the grounds
that a multi-user system shouldnot enable bells for all users.  I think
that users would be better served if this behaviour were optional.

When some packages are installed (e.g. AUCTeX), they are not enabled.
While enabling them may involve an easy step (e.g. adding `(require
'tex-site)' to ~/.emacs), the new users who want to try-out the package
may waste a lot of time figuring this out (and led them to believe that
Win98 is easier to setup than Debian).  The new users may also have just
installed 100 packages with dselect and have trouble keeping track of all
these tweaks that must be done by hand.

I understand that on some Debian systems that are setup for multi-user use,
the admin may not want to force his or her choice on every user.  But what
if the initial configuration of Debian had a /etc/debian-configure-as file
(or any other name) that said "as single-user" or "as multi-user".  If
single-user configuration were selected, then all pacakges like AUCTeX
could assume it safe and preferable to fully install themselves, making the
end-user's job much easier.

Sorry to pick on AUCTeX as an example, I'm sure other packages suffer from
this limit also.  But AUCTeX is so good that I want users to be able to try
it out easily.  I'm also interested in making a few deb packages of my own
to setup some Emacs stuff (font-latex, bib-cite, etc) to make them easier
to try-out and use, but there's not point since that would break current
policy.  :-(


AUCTeX reference:

Noel Yap <ivy1@cornell.edu> wrote about the AUCTeX configuration:

>                  Debian [should] put (require 'tex-site.el) in
> /etc/emacs/site-start.el or to have the package itself put a symlink to
> tex-site.el in /etc/emacs/site-start.d/.  This is the default behavior
> of tm and vm.

And the reply came back from the AUCTeX maintainer <salve@debian.org>:

> The Debian AUC TeX package currently works the way it does because
> Debian is a multi-user operating system.
> A system administrator may want to make it available to her users
> without forcing /all of them/ to use it by default: every user could
> decide it by himself, adding `(require 'tex-site)' to his "~/.emacs"
> if he wants to.
> Should the system administrator want to have it loaded by default for
> all her users, she would only have to add `(require 'tex-site)' to the
> system-wide "/etc/emacs/site-start.el".
> The whole story is documented in "/usr/doc/auctex/README.Debian".

Peter Galbraith, research scientist          <GalbraithP@dfo-mpo.gc.ca>
Maurice Lamontagne Institute, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
P.O. Box 1000, Mont-Joli Qc, G5H 3Z4 Canada. 418-775-0852 FAX: 775-0546
   6623'rd Linux user at the Linux Counter -- http://counter.li.org/ 

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