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Re: To the Debian Project, IMHO

On Tue, Sep 14, 1999 at 10:19:37AM -0500, Keith G. Murphy spewed forth:

> It would also be sad to leave behind the Unix heritage of simple
> utilities that can pipe to each other to do useful things.


Also, I spend a lot of time in my job working on servers on the other
side of the world, hidden behind slow, overloaded WAN links.  Sure I *can*
(and sometimes do) use ssh to run GUI apps on these boxes, it can be SLOW.
If you've ever tried to, say, do useful work via a copy of Netscape
which is being displayed over a 14.4 modem with multiple intervening
firewalls and NAT devices, you know what I mean.

Or if your box is hosed and X won't come up and you can't get it out of
single user because, say, /usr is trashed so you HAVE to fix it from the
command line.  If you've learned on a GUI and never learned the formats of
the underlying config files, you're hosed and quite possibly out of a job.

Or if you run primarily headless servers which never run X and usually
don't even have it installed.  Why go through the bother of graphical
installers on machines like this?

Or if you're doing your work from a mono X tube or from an old vt100?

Granted, none of these things are common for the casual user, but
such situations are very common for me.  I find that command line
(or at least curses-based) tools work better, faster and in more
situations than graphical tools in the environments in which I work.
I believe that console and GUI tools can cooperate and I can name several
examples which I work with daily: Legato Networker, Solstice Disksuite,
the Solaris installer (yes, I'm a Solaris admin for a living).

Times seem to be changing though.  Whether we like it or not, the UNIX
"utopia" of small, sharp tools will end eventually and we need to accept
that our computing paradigm will have to change at some point.  All I want
is the ability to maximize the flexibility of the environment in which I
work.  Right now, that means primarily console based tools, for me.


email: peewee@scc.mi.org - useless: http://www.scc.mi.org/peewee/ - efnet: Pwe
I have followed the rainbow's path to the end, only to discover that the elves
have a marketing department and want to sell me the gold  -Me, on the Bay Area

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