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Re: tools Re: Slightly OT: Comments, ideas, or suggestions for improving websites

On Thu, Dec 08, 2005 at 01:13:55AM -0800, Alvin Oga wrote:
>   webmin is the purrfect example to me of what's broken,
>   but is agoo dstart for beginners that like to point-n-click 
>   because if you looked at the files, what to change in the config
>   files would be deep void
> 	- it's close but not good enuff for me or for me to tell
> 	my customers to use it instead of paying me to fix it
> 	especially after they already tried webmin and other tools

I've never been able fo figure out what webmin does in sufficient
detail to enable me to use it.

> - tools to find tools ..
> 	most of these tools already exists and does work,
> 	but there is no one wrapper gui to select the various 
> 	"help me, please" problem and resolutions
> 	whomever writes a usable "wrapper gui" will do a fair amt of
> 	notoriety and good-famous

An index to packages, classifying them by what problems they solve,
and a review of how well they solve it.

> - everything needs to be tested ...
> 	- more you know .. the better it will be tested provided
> 	time and resources is available for "testing" vs the 
> 	"oops we lost data.. quick, restore from backups"
> - tools for testing each major apps
> that covers some of the basics of the config problems
> ... endless list

When in doubt, go meta:

What I miss is configuration tools
  that do more than just draw gui-style boxes around the
      same old incomprehensible configuration syntax
  that link to documentation -- documentation that fills you
      into the bigger picture, rather that just the
      out-of-context microprose most help systems
  that enable you to learn what's going on under the hood
      without forcing you to.
  that tell you which configuration files they are going
      to modify/create/delete and why
  that read your configuration files and explain them to you.

Of course that would all be easier if there were to be
a uniform file format for configuration files.  And that
might be possible if there were a uniform semantics.
I don't think anyone has yet formulated a workable semantic
framework for configuration.  Or have I missed something important?

-- hendrik

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