HAL must die!

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Fri Mar 18 23:24:46 UTC 2011

On Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 10:36:41PM +0100, Michel Talon wrote:
> Chad wrote:
> >
> > Everybody who thinks it's a good idea (by way of analogy) to write
> > command line utilities that default to not letting you specify any
> > options at all, and if you use one option to do something non-default
> > you have to specify *all* options even when the specification is
> > exactly the same as the default -- raise your hands.
> In fact i am just now writing something which does that: either mostly
> automatic, or with full "expert" options if you know what you are
> doing. There is no real middle ground, in my opinion, and i just don't
> like the Unix style commands, with tons of options and unscrutable man
> pages. I think this Unix approach has not led to considerable adoption,
> generally. To come back to HAL, i have been usually happy with HAL. You
> just have to know that if you want to modify some simple X
> configuration (typically change the keyboard language) you have to do
> it in a HAL config file, not in xorg.conf.  The only problem is that
> the HAL config files are in xml crap, not in usual form. In fact the
> main HAL problem is a documentation problem, like for many other softs.
> How many new features of FreeBSD are correctly documented presently? 

Wait -- what?  Really?

Let's say your application has the following options with defaults:

    foo: one
    bar: two
    baz: three
    qux: four

Let's say someone wants qux to be five instead of four.  Are you saying
you're writing your application to *force* them to specify *all four*
configuration settings, even when three of them are default?  Are you
further saying you're doing this because you think it's a good idea from
a UI standpoint, and not just out of laziness?

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
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