Configuration Tool

Discuss all artwork and development - Suggestions needed

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Would you like to have a general control center?

Yes, would be really great
77
81%
Maybe not so bad
10
11%
No, what for?... I love my f****** config files
8
8%
 
Total votes : 95

Re: Configuration Tool

Postby LordBernhard » Sun Jul 27, 2008 17:55

no I don't mean kcontrol.. although in sabayon 3.5 it's the first time really working for me (printer, ...)

I mean something like Yast with Sax2 (especially sax2 for monitor configuration, 3d configuration (accel manager is too basic imo))...

too bad that nobody is working on it.. when I started this thread somebody told me that there's someone working on it and that it will be (nearly) as powerful as yast if not more.
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby deadfool » Sun Jul 27, 2008 21:24

well you can be the first to start it then.
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Sun Jul 27, 2008 23:42

Personally I've never felt the need for a configuration tool in SL. That said, I and my family also use PCLinuxOS -- which has the KDE Control Center too -- and its 'Administration Center' (=configuration tool) makes setting-up, changing and fixing things a piece of cake. I'm sure it is very helpful for newcomers or those who just don't want to 'get under the hood'.
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby sjieke » Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:31

As stated in this thread there is indeed KControl that lets you configure almost everything, but sabayon provides and supports more Desktep Environments (especially with the new POD that comes with XFCE). So a DE independent configuration tool (with no KDE or GNOME or ... dependencies) would be very usefull. This would ease the support in configuration problems (like changing the keyboard layout for example) as everyone would be able to use the same tool.
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby xlnagla » Tue Jul 29, 2008 15:52

There were rumors circulating a little over a year ago about a configuration tool, but civil64 (the one credited in this thread with making it) hasn't been around in quite a while. It would be kind of interesting, and it can certainly stand on its own from different DEs - perhaps somebody in the community would like to work with you on it? If it works then just post a link to it in the wiki, the only requirement for getting scripts in the wiki is that you post them yourself.

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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby Stupot » Tue Jul 29, 2008 18:20

I'm just wondering how independent of any DE you could make this configuration tool, with it still being useful.

A) I'm assuming people want a graphical configuration tool, which means it will probably made using either qt or GTK (not so independent already). I doubt many people want a command line (whether somewhat graphical with ncurses or not) config tool.

B) If I'm not mistaken (I could be), most DE's save their own settings, which means that tool will have to change settings for multiple DEs that may or may not be there.

Don't get me wrong, it's possible and I'm even willing to look into it myself, but I don't think it's near as easy to make this independent as some might think. Rather than being tied down to no DE, it will have to tied into every DE.
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby sjieke » Tue Jul 29, 2008 20:43

Your are correct that people are going to want a graphical configuration tool, but this doesn't nesseccary make it DE dependent because of following reasons
  • GTK and QT are libraries not tied to a specific DE. Indeed DE's have there preference (KDE -> qt, GNOME -> gtk, XFCE -> gtk, ...) but as far as I know using either of those puts a dependency towards a DE
  • If a good design pattern is used (for example the model-view-controller or model-view pattern) it should be relative easy to provide multiple frontends (command line, gtk, qt, ncurses,...) This will take time but can be done in fases: in the beginning for example only command line. If this stabilizes gtk could be added, and so on.

It is possible that DE's save their own settings. The python script '/sbin/keyboard-setup' (available in the package 'keyboard-configuration-helpers'), written by Fabio Erculiani, is an example of what you mean. This script modifies the keymaps configuration file and xorgs configuration (both DE independend), but also the config files of the keyboard layout tools of GNOME, KDE and XFCE (DE dependend).

The question we must ask ourself is if there isn't any overall setting or configuration option that is DE independent and works in each DE. Are the DE specific settings not just wrappers for an underlying system? Do the keyboard layout tools, for example, not only modify xkb settings?

The tool could also include configuration options for Samba, NFS, Users&Groups ... which are definitely DE independent.

I think the hardest parts in creating such a tool would be:
  • Extensibilty: It needs to be easy to add an extra 'configuration module'.
  • Keeping a clean seperation between the 'model' and the 'view'. Possibly with a 'controller' in between.
  • A good knowledge of the possible options for each configuration module. For example a configuration tool for Samba would be hard for me to write. I know how to add a basic share, but I don't know a thing about 'local domain master' and such things.

It won't be easy, but I am also willing to look into it :cyclops:
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby xlnagla » Tue Jul 29, 2008 21:23

good place to start would be with configuration scripts that already exist - even if they're rudimentary command-line, most things have some wrapper or controlling script that one can use to make basic changes. So I'd look for those, and assemble them, as the first thing to do.

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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby Stupot » Tue Jul 29, 2008 21:26

I think a samba config tool would probably be way overambitious to talk about at this point. Samba's complexity and non-ease of use is one of the largest complaints against it at the moment. I remember reading something as of late that gave me hope that they might address it in the next year or so, but I don't recall what it was. (I actually seem to not be able to set up simple Samba shares with my XP laptop for some reason, but I haven't done enough looking into to decide anything).

My guess is that if this project is to start out at the CLI level, you'll probably want to use some sort of scripting language. I'm only fluent in C/C++ with just the bare minimum exposure to some scripting languages (sadly no python).

Also, I made a program using ncurses once for a class when in college, and I wouldn't recommend ever learning it. It's not hard...just pointless.
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby LordBernhard » Tue Jul 29, 2008 21:39

Wow... seems like I've triggered something big :-)

I would be really happy to help if I can. I have basic to good knowledge in Qt and I'm willing to learn more things (except gtk ... )

To bring up yast again: it's split up after the model/view concept. It has a gtk, qt and ncurses interface and it's DE independent.. so maybe it's still worth a look (although I don't know if we could port the code to a sourcebased distro (sabayon/gentoo))...
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