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Re: Soundcard detection [an aside]

From: "Jef Spaleta" <jspaleta princeton edu>

> There are several attempts at this kind of centralization...Redhat use
> to support the linuxconf program, which attempted to centralize a lot of
> system configuration. It would be interesting to hear an informed
> opinion contrasting using something as centralized as linuxconf and
> something as decentralized as the set of redhat-config-packages.

I may not be as informed as you would wish. However, I do make the general
observation that one program which performs a multitude of diverse tasks
generally performs each of them barely adequately. A multitude of diverse
programs for a multitude of matching diverse tasks generally work well for
their individual functions. They are, however, a pain in the situpon part
of the human anatomy to use because you must remember all their names.

The ideal compromise is that same multitude of tools with interfaces made
to look "approximately" the same without destroying their functionality
individually coupled with a wrapper program that is aware of all these
individual interfaces. Microsoft's "Control Panel" is an early attempt
at this concept. It works "adequately". Microsoft's more recent
tools environment which wraps a set of individual tools is another attempt
at the concept. I'm not sure which I like better. But I am not "pleased"
with either one when I try to use them. If I had to choose I must say I
prefer the Control Panel arrangement for most things.

I get the impression Red Hat and the Linux world in general is groping
towards its own solution. I expect it will be far better than Microsoft's
in the long run. But the groping process may be painful for most of us.

Our feedback, in objective terms rather than invective terms is probably
very valuable. Linux isn't ready for the aggressively non-technical retired
musician or even retired radio announcer or two way radio technician. It
should be. And developing a clean configuration tool set in an integrated
environment is important to "arriving". (And note should be taken that
most of the readers of this list want to be able to customize their
installations to do far more finicky tasks than the cases cited above. Both
groups should find the configuration experience clear and useful.)

{^_^}   emacs eschmaks vi why either editor works nicely and I use my
        preferred editor for configuration. That way I am dead sure what
        is in those configuration files, right or wrong.

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