Mailinglist Archive: yast-devel (144 mails)

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Re: [yast-devel] Why YAST is too VAST
  • From: Stefan Hundhammer <sh@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 22:05:07 +0100
  • Message-id: <>
On Wednesday 13 February 2008 17:57, JP Rosevear wrote:
That guys doesn't do a difference between user preferences and system
management tasks.

That distinction is often not very clear either

Regrettably, yes. It can be hard to understand for users why setting the
system time is a privileged operation -- until they get it explained.

Yet, that doesn't change the fact that there is such a distinction between
per-user settings and system settings. And this is what those two different
kinds of control centers reflect.

and often is a reflection of the underlying technology - printers being a
good example - rather than how the users uses them.

Well, where do we draw the line?

The user of a standalone home PC with one printer can rightfully claim that
this is HIS printer and that he can do whatever he pleases with it, so it
doesn't make sense for him to acquire root privileges to administrate that

That printer might also be a network printer because it's so much more
comfortable to work with the laptop from the living room couch and work over
Wi-Fi. It's still his, and he's still the boss.

See where this is heading? all of a sudden, you find
yourself in a corporate environment where things get administered in a lot
less anarchic ways. There must be rules and order. System settings vs. user
settings are coming back with a vengeance.

You see, in a simple example everything is - well - simple. Who would have
guessed. But that's not the real world.

Also a role based yast

Apart from that increasingly becoming a buzzword (with an extra score of bingo
points), exactly how would it help?

Do we abandon all privileges and permissions, becoming much more Windows-like
in the process? (And inviting all kinds of intruders, of course?)

Or do we still at least tell the user that whatever he is about to do is a
privileged operation and ask at least his confirmation (not necessarily his
password or a special "I, the XY subsystem admin" password)?

I'd be mighty pissed if some too-clever software would simply install some
piece of software without asking me while I am surfing the web, just because
I happen to also be a "can install software" sub-admin. Adios, security.

So yes, very, very likely (hopefully nobody here argues this) we still have to
at least ask for confirmation. But that again means showing that evil system
vs. user distinction.

I vote for being honest. There are things that are system related, and we
should not try to disguise that fact. It's OK to make things easier, but
please let's not try to be too clever. The user (in his capacity as
administrator) has the last word.

Yes, for some users this will be a learning curve. On the downside, they will
have to learn new concepts. On the plus side, they will be more knowledgeable

that allowed users to "sync" their user
preferences to the system (for instance timezone) would eliminate some

Timezone: Europe/London
[x] Make this timezone the system default

IIRC we only have that distinction between system clock on UTC vs. system
clock on local time so that a parallel-bootable Windows doesn't get confused.
If you don't have Windows on that machine, leave the system default (UTC),
preferably also set up NTP, and you can set your desktop to whatever time
zone you like.

That "system default" time zone you described above would be another
workaround around somebody else's (Windows) problem.

Stefan Hundhammer <sh@xxxxxxx> Penguin by conviction.
YaST2 Development
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, GF: Markus Rex, HRB 16746 (AG Nürnberg)
Nürnberg, Germany
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