A couple of serious questions

David Zeuthen david at fubar.dk
Fri Apr 13 03:00:54 UTC 2007

On Thu, 2007-04-12 at 20:50 -0400, Matthew Miller wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 12, 2007 at 06:11:12PM -0400, Kelly wrote:
> > 1)  Is there sufficient interest in having the system-config packages
> > split into data and GUI components so there might be Qt/KDE versions in
> > the future?
> I don't know about "sufficient", but there's interest in doing that for
> privilege-separation reasons. Being able to use alternate front-ends comes
> for free.

Exactly. And moving the back-ends to somewhere central (e.g. fd.o) and
adding the front-ends to the actual desktop projects (e.g. GNOME, KDE)
is what we really want. That way we get all the distros/OS's to rally
around the same code base and the user experience as a whole becomes
better and more integrated.

That's already been happening with all the HAL/NetworkManager/GNOME's
Project Utopia/KDE's Solid stuff and we're only going to do more of this
in the future; not less. With some of the PolicyKit stuff I talked


it will be, for example, a patch around 100-200 lines to GNOME's clock
applet to provide the same functionality we today have in
system-config-date. And it won't have to run as root; we can configure
it such that laptop users don't have to auth, admins can lock it down,
yadayada etc. etc. etc.

(The good thing, also, is that most of the hard work on PolicyKit is
already done [1]; I plan to land it early in the Fedora 8 cycle and then
go on a spree to integrate it with GNOME where applicable.)

So, in other words, I guess I'm saying that at least my point of view is
that much system-config-* is a dead-end for all but really Fedora
centric stuff that don't apply to other distros/OS'es. So my advice to
people asking if it's a good idea to write Qt front-ends would be to
start helping out on integrating these features in the respective
desktop environments. 

Of course, this task is a lot harder than doing s/GTK+/Qt/ to some
source code; it actually requires that you come up with an architecture
and design that can work on all distros and don't do silly things like
running X11 apps as root. But I think in the end, it's a lot more
rewarding doing this than just Qt-ifying code; I think it also helps
create a better user experience.

(Also, a bunch of system-config-* stuff is RH/Fedora/CentOS centric
(pup, pirut, SELinux stuff (to a degree)) and that's fine. We don't have
to (and we don't want to either) do everything at once.)

Anyway, that's pretty much my position. Hope this helps.


[1] : http://gitweb.freedesktop.org/?p=PolicyKit.git

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