HAL must die!

Gary Gatten Ggatten at waddell.com
Fri Mar 18 23:39:16 UTC 2011

Although all very interesting and entertaining, how much will it cost me to kill this thread and any concepts mentioned herein for at least 30 days?  At minimum, haven't we strayed quit a bit from the OP and as such this "worthwhile" discussion should be a new thread?  Just sayin'....

----- Original Message -----
From: Chad Perrin [mailto:perrin at apotheon.com]
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2011 06:13 PM
To: freebsd-questions at freebsd.org <freebsd-questions at freebsd.org>
Subject: Re: HAL must die!

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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