Pete Zaitcev (zaitcev) wrote,

Session folly

Yesterday, Zeuthen went to anounciate one of the worst architectural trends in recent Fedora, namely the dreadful confusion of session-wide and system-wide configurations. It's a very long memo, but the money quote is this:

- Session-wide software: Just so we're all on the same page, "session-wide" means something that runs in a user desktop session. Historically, the desktop wasn't very advanced and didn't integrate well with the system. Back then things that really was session-wide would run as a system-wide daemon mostly also because it required root to enforce policy. Things like acpid for power management event handling, updfstab for removable media, ifplugd for handling network cable removable, networking scripts etc. comes to mind. As you can see with Fedora Core 5 this is radically starting to change; acpid is obsoleted by gnome-power-manager, updfstab (and fstab-sync for that matter) is obsoleted by gnome-volume-manager / gnome-mount, the networking scripts is starting to be completely obsoleted by NetworkManager. We have more things on out "hit list"...

In other words, log out from console and the system loses its utility.

Things already move in this direction, and as a maintainer of pcmcia-cs I had to face some of the backlash. Even in FC-4 mounting a CF card automatically required additional software, not provided by pcmcia-cs. The official answer: use GNOME's "Computer" window, right-click and mount. Oh, you're logged remotely into an old laptop? Then it's not a problem for you to run mount(8), is it? It's a good thing that the constituency of command-line auto-mounters is small. However, network is something that everyone uses.

In this regard, the NetworkManager is probably the most dangerous piece of software we're pushing in Fedora. It is so new and shiny that it hypnotizes.
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