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Re: Debian and SimplyGNUstep

From: Jeff Teunissen
Subject: Re: Debian and SimplyGNUstep
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2003 09:46:52 -0400

Matthias Klose wrote:

> Jeff Teunissen writes:
> > Matthias Klose wrote:
> > > The thing he doesn't like are the unusual/unfriendly places (called
> > > the Unix File System Hierarchy (FHS)). Some time before the KDE
> > > people didn't like, now someone from the GNUstep community doesn't
> > > like it. If you know of a better schema which fits the FHS, please
> > > let us know.
> >
> > The "ideal" GNUstep layout is rampantly, even enthusiastically,
> > non-compliant with the FHS (and thus Policy) -- and frankly, there is
> > nothing that can be done about it so there's no use talking about it.
> > It's merely a layout which is highly preferred over both a
> > FHS-compliant one AND the default GNUstep layout.
> >
> > That is to say that what is on Debian /usr/lib/GNUstep/System, is (in
> > this layout) /System. Same for Network and Local.
> so if you need, why not make a symlink yourself? Better, make the
> GNUstep window manager do this automatically. The user you want to
> target will merely notice it.

Because that sucks, and for technical (not aesthetic) reasons.

It's potentially reasonable to make a /System symlink, but Local is
roughly equivalent to /usr/local (and the same rules apply -- it's
off-limits to the system), and Network has no standard analogue.

The closest thing to a FHS-compliant GNUstep would be to put the System
domain in /usr/lib/GNUstep (no /System), the Local domain in
/usr/local/lib/GNUstep, and just forget about the Network domain because
there's no compliant place for it to go.

OpenStep (and by extension, GNUstep) is not really meant to integrate
with existing systems. It's something different that happens to be
hosted on an existing system, sort of like the Java platform.

> > In addition, it would place a file in the root directory, .hidden,
> > which is something like a .cvsignore file containing things which are
> > to be (optionally, keyed on the value of the user's "UNIX Expert"
> > preference) hidden by GUI classes which display the filesystem. For
> > example, this file might contain (on an otherwise clean Debian
> > system):
> again, that's a thing for the window manager / file browser, I do see
> these directories in Darwin as well.
> > On this issue, even with my own Debian hat on, I just punt and say
> > "you can't do it in Debian, so it has to be done separately".
> IIRC, the KDE people did say this as well (before 2.2 entered Debian
> FHS compliant).

KDE didn't "want" to go into the root directory.

> > To an extent
> > that I'm not going to be doing any GNUstep stuff for Debian myself,
> > because I wouldn't be actually using my own packages. Even those for
> > which I'm the upstream (like Preferences, recently uploaded by you).
> I fail to see that this can be done inside the FHS. The issues you
> describe can be hidden by a view (file browser) on the things.

It certainly can (almost) be done, and without too much difficulty (I
used to do something like this). At the same time, many believe it
shouldn't be done -- and the duplicated effort is an unfortunate side

> Chad Hardin writes:
> > Because the install locations are not ideal for a user-centered
> > GNUstep based desktop system. That's the main reason.
> > GNUstep really doesn't fit into the FHS mode.  With KDE and GNOME you
> > can "hide" the actual program file locations with their (yucky)
> > "Start" menu type system.  GNUstep has no concept, you launch programs
> > by double-clicking the actual Application itself, not via some "Start"
> > menu abstraction.
> well, what's the difference between clicking an icon on the desktop or
> on the dock? why does have wmaker to care about the Applications
> folder in / or somewhere else?

In a NeXTish system, there is no desktop, no app menu of any kind, and
the Dock and the Shelf are just convenient places to store often-used
references. The user knows where the apps are, because that's where they
"go". There's no list of installed apps, because it's not necessary. The
apps are found by the system (for purposes of determining capabilities)
because the directories the .app packages are in is located in the PATH.
e.g. /NextApps, /LocalApps, /NextDeveloper/Demos are in the PATH on an
OPENSTEP system, which is how the system knows where to find them. If
you stuck an .app into /usr/bin, the system would still find it, even
though the default configuration doesn't display /usr to the user.

GNUstep departs from this a little in that it (like Mac OS X) has
domains, which are not in OpenStep, but their existence simplifies
certain other things.

>From the *step perspective, Debian (as well as Windows, and other
*nixes) is not an operating system. It's something to put one on top of,
that doesn't necessarily need to be integrated with or wrapped --
because, after all, you have Terminal. The whole thing is very KISS, and
at the same time easy to use and admin.


| Jeff Teunissen  -=-  Pres., Dusk To Dawn Computing  -=-  deek @
| GPG: 1024D/9840105A   7102 808A 7733 C2F3 097B  161B 9222 DAB8 9840
| Core developer, The QuakeForge Project       
| Specializing in Debian GNU/Linux             

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