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simpler file layout
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Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Sun 10 Dec 2006, 02:43    Post subject:  

Quote:
I hope this isn't going to degenerate into a flame war.
With that firmly in mind > It may be wise to stop throwing in non - helpful personal inflamatory asides : I.E.
Quote:
with its cryptic and unhelpful names, is (a miserable failure of)
What the root level configuration folder was named is totally irrelevant

Example - Why is MarkS being targeted to defend any viewpoint - AFAICS he is only one of several who have
stated logical disclaimers of original contentions - others then jumped on band-wagon to berate present standards as
Evil - insane ...on & on > to what good for the community at large ?

As was stressed - I may not agree -but will defend anybodies right to discuss anything - if done in non-inflamatory...
Or as MarkS POLITELY noted should be presented in non- pejorative mode. ?

What was important - a standard usable for all -

" Why " (etc) was chosen folder name becomes evident -
The long standing 'NIX tradition of names indicating purpose
E.G. "Less" is more - "Born(e)-again command interpreter - break -cut -diff and then"gawk" > EVAL- =
Look at all CLI names. - Figure it out for yourself

Where to store most system configurations = etc etc etc !

If a user wants everything just "lumped" to-gather ~ use static libraries
Don't like something - CHANGE IT Who the ---- has restricted any of your rights to do so ?

Of those who may have the ability - Who here has done so ?
How many have extensively used Linux before "discovering" Puppy !

If the fits of shoo - irritates = change of foo-ware may be needed -( Please - don't blame the Chandelry supplier if ) you are See -sic
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marksouth2000

Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 620

PostPosted: Sun 10 Dec 2006, 18:33    Post subject:  

Flash wrote:
I hope this isn't going to degenerate into a flame war. Laughing
...
Marksouth, what is rational about making permanent a top-level directory called etc? The name suggests nothing and everything. I could go on. Wink

Flash, the topic started as a flame war from the very first post.

To answer your actual question, it's rational because it served the purpose for which the designers included it. They had several directories in / called bin, lib, tmp, usr, sys and dev. Those were for binaries, libraries, temporary files, user files and applications, system files, and device nodes respectively. They needed a directory under root for configuration of other stuff, and they chose to call it etc. They could have called it stuff or misc or conf if they liked. "etc" is as good as those and easy to type, and seems to have worked so far for about three and a half decades on all kinds of hardware under all kinds of loads.

Sometimes one has flexible choice about engineering decisions. Any choice that reaches the design goals straightforwardly is rational.

I think there's nothing I can do to make it simpler than that for anyone.
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Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Mon 11 Dec 2006, 07:02    Post subject:  

The OP seems to have vanished ?? : To clarify his own request :

a folder for executables >> (/bin, /sbin)
- a folder for scripts >> (system suplied default executables or user created )?
- a folder for libraries, device drivers, and codecs >> (/lib) ~ (/dev)<< (block & F/sys))
- codecs ~ (dependent on how installed - App defaults or user created >>( /etc) or (/usr sub-folders)

- a folder for configuration files and logs >> (majority of system wide Cfg: (/etc) ~ (logs /var/log)
- a folder for links to startup files >> (executables /etc, symlinked to/bin. & dynamic library dependencies)
~ Otherwise static libraries

- a folder for data >> (dependent on document source /usr/share etal + built-in man/info pages )
- a folder for temporary files (/tmp)

Quote:
No special folder for mounted devices. They're auto-mounted at the top level
Only by scripted distribution idiosyncrasies - otherwise only the device storing the initiated root file system is needed, for access:
Computer administrator has permissions to /alter system wide default supplied Cfg's stored in
Code:
 /etc
~ Files are fstab & mtab
Mount points are optional as are names - usually in /mnt subfolders
Quote:
make it simpler
Code:

 
/bin
/boot
/dev
/etc
/home
/lib
/mnt
/opt
/proc
/root
/sbin
/sys
/tmp
/usr
/var
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Dougal


Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 2505
Location: Hell more grotesque than any medieval woodcut

PostPosted: Mon 11 Dec 2006, 11:19    Post subject:  

marksouth2000 wrote:
They could have called it stuff or misc or conf if they liked. "etc" is as good as those and easy to type, and seems to have worked so far for about three and a half decades on all kinds of hardware under all kinds of loads.


"etc" is better since it's only three letters!

As for it being "rational", my record collection has a "etc" section.
As I mentioned above, it's a matter of taste: my records are not just ordered alphabetically, but broken into genre sections -- like "lib" "bin" etc in the directory structure.
This might not make sense to others but it does to me.

The thing the Gobo people deserve respect for is the fact that they didn't whine about what they consider "irrational", but actually went and did something about it. If someone wants a GoboPuppy, they're welcome to create one.

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Some say your nose
Some say your toes
But I think it's your mind
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Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Mon 11 Dec 2006, 11:45    Post subject:  

Quote:
went and did something about it.

=Well said sir - Cool AMEN to that !

Wonder if "gobbed" systemized structuring could do anything for one of my kitchen drawers ?
> If definitely is an "etc category > Where the .....(etc etc) .... is it ?
A "catch-all" storage holder.
(Things go in - expressly so I won't lose them - only to never be seen again...... in 'there" - by mere mortal man) !

Soooo - every few Mo's it gets dunged out - then guess what is first thing needed -
(Of course - it was thrown away - so Evil or Very Mad NOW I remember it....... well) !
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 10665
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Mon 11 Dec 2006, 17:13    Post subject:  

But the whole point of the original post of this thread, as I understood it, is that when a beginner looks under the hood of Linux for the first time he sees a pile of spaghetti. Sure, if he sticks with it he may unravel it enough to make sense of it, but why bother? That *other* OS offers an easier way to get the job done. Most people just want to use a computer to do something. They don't want to marry the thing, and they'd rather not have to go back to school just to get it to do what they want, if they can avoid it. Isn't that what application programs are for?

As for naming directories and files with TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms,) that is a legacy of the days when memory and processing power were expensive. There is no longer any good reason not to use names that suggest their purpose, and spell them out. How popular would this forum be if John had named the categories with TLAs? Laughing

If we're really serious about wanting people to switch to Linux, the filesystem needs to be simplified, rationalized and made more intuitive, not necessarily in that order. Using full names instead of cryptic abbreviations would be a good start.
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Mon 11 Dec 2006, 18:09    Post subject:  

Quote:
As for naming directories and files with TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms,) that is a legacy of the days when memory and processing power were expensive. There is no longer any good reason not to use names that suggest their purpose, and spell them out.

Yes there is. I can type "/etc/X11/xorg.conf" much faster than "/etcetera/Xserver/xorg_configuration_file". Laughing
But, that's just me.


The only things the Windows users had to worry about were C:\Program Files\ and whatever was on the desktop, because the installer did everything for them. Anything else they knew, they learned. What is there to suggest putting a dll in C:\windows\system\ and not some other place? Nothing. But they knew it because that's what the instructions said. Same in linux, but easier. "Oh, the library I downloaded goes in /usr/lib? Whoda thunk it?" So long as the installer works, they won't have to do anything or know anything, other than maybe confirm a destination (same as they did in Windows). If it breaks, they go learn how to fix it. Maybe it isn't in the same spot as Windows, but maybe it isn't Windows?

My college has a different layout than my high school, and the dorm isn't the same as my old room. I've yet to call in the architects.


I'm just saying, I think somebody new to linux and Windows both would have trouble with either one. Program Files is obvious, but that's about it.

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Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Mon 11 Dec 2006, 19:19    Post subject:  

OMG - Hoped all this redundancy was already dissected to Laughing grew- sum deaRth ?

Windows is FAR from intuitive - ask a relative newcomer where to find built in system repair tools or how to edit the @!!## Registry !
I am d- - n sure there are many things about Windows most users have no clue what they are named -
where even to find .... let alone use .

As for their own file systems - aside from NTFS all the rest are Crying or Very sad pure layer upon layer of MS-DOS legacy kludge !

How about System I/O - must be installed to 1st bootable drive 1st partition ??
NTloader that unceremoniously wipes 'alien' loaders !
(Linux moves/stores old MBR tables)

Same applies to the Shocked memory Mgt - It may be linear - but still has inelegant/weird paging calls.
( Please- don't even go there, some users may just know a few esoterics Re alternate platforms.)

BTW why even type long_file_names - or paths ... Use wildcards &/or Cool Bash completion !
I contend - It's best to try coping/understanding any O/System inners-
Prior to cavalier dismissing of Linux standards -as having any percieved structural "flaws" ?

Just as in E.G. Bash's (lesser used/understood) capabilities - it is never just "easy" to assimilate all nuances -

If thought so - >SUM lessons have not been studied .
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Dougal


Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 2505
Location: Hell more grotesque than any medieval woodcut

PostPosted: Tue 12 Dec 2006, 13:27    Post subject:  

Flash wrote:
But the whole point of the original post of this thread, as I understood it, is that when a beginner looks under the hood of Linux for the first time he sees a pile of spaghetti.


The way I see it he shouldn't touch anything in any case, unless he knows what he's doing.
This kind of thing is actually a source of problems in a Windoews-like structure: people want to uninstall a program, so they just go to my-programs and delete it's directory, which is not a proper uninstall.

Besides, I don't think most Windows users know how the windows directory structure works. I never did.

_________________
What's the ugliest part of your body?
Some say your nose
Some say your toes
But I think it's your mind
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amish

Joined: 24 Sep 2006
Posts: 616

PostPosted: Tue 12 Dec 2006, 16:04    Post subject:  

/ == where the file system begins

/boot == where the kernel (vmlinuz) is kept

/etc == contains configuration files, including startup scripts

/bin, /usr/bin == contain most of the programs for the system
/bin == the most essential programs
/usr/bin == applications for the users of the system

/sbin, /usr/sbin == programs for system administration or "superuser"

/usr/X11 == the xwindows system
/usr/dict == dictionaries for the spelling checker
/usr/doc == documentation files in many formats
/usr/man == man pages
/usr/src == if the source is installed, it can be found here


/usr/local, /usr/local/bin == software that is installed on the machine physically in use goes here, worthy of note in a time abundant with live cd distros

/var == contains files that change as the system is running, including log files
/lib == shared libraries, often used by more than one application

/home == where users keep personal work
/root == personal folder for the superuser


/tmp == a directory for temporary files written by programs
/dev == the location of system devices, such as the modem or usb key
/proc == a virtual listing that accesses live system information
/mnt == the primary location where drives are mounted


the above is a summary of http://linuxcommand.org/lts0040.php - which
is © 2000-2006, William Shotts, Jr.

find / -depth | grep what.to.search.for
find any file in linux, using part of the name

example: find / -depth | grep isket
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 10665
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Tue 12 Dec 2006, 17:06    Post subject:  

At the very least, every Linux should include in a copy of the Linux Filesystem Heirarchy, or a link to it, so a beginner could learn without having to wade through a lot of contentious and ultimately unhelpful discussion. Laughing
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Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Tue 12 Dec 2006, 18:20    Post subject:  

There is documented "standards" vs understanding any

I was once asked by a close friend -"What would happen if I" -
In reference to altering the mechanical fuel pump settings without checking turbo boost

Events > Time lag, (over fueled) then turbo catches up, over Revs.- Cooks itself & impeller breaks
Sending pieces through cylinders.

I said - "First off - you will destroy the engine"
"But what is certain to happen - You would be fired - from consequences of not adhering to standards
set by Mfg to ensure safe operation & engine life"

He did not need to read the full OEM engine Specs - just use common sense before trying to deviate :
Esp without fully understanding or ignoring the possible results !

"If it were your own "engine" (do as you please) = "As a friend I can only warn & tell it the way it is."

He was a good HD Mech, a proficient "bench" gear man ( transmissions, differentials)
I would not assign him to tune engine$ nor trouble $hoot!
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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 4982
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Tue 12 Dec 2006, 21:43    Post subject:  

To imbellish on Amish's Linux file system info...

The dir. /usr is for installed apps., Xwin included (yes it's an external app.).
Everything else in the root dir. / is whats needed for Linux to boot to the console.
Although in reality not absolutely everything that's in / is needed for booting.
But for a lean system the / SHOULD only have boot files & utilities for the console.
The exception would be /etc, which has config. files for just about everything.
But having all of them in one place is the most rational part of the dir. structure.

The difference between Win. & Linux as Gobo Linux says is; Win. organizes with dirs.
Linux needs to keep lists of where everything goes, if it's to be tracked.
Puppy keeps track of app. installs this way, making it possable to uninstall.
But then in Linux you can't just look at the dirs. to see what's there... like Win.
And even Win. scatters install files all over hells half acre, so how is it better?

The true test is feasability, how well it works, Win. trashes itself from the word go.
Basically Win. is like our polititions in Washington D.C., it's self corrupting.
Wins. file formats are propriatary & suck universally, ext2 & ext3 are time proven.
Name anything Win. does that Linux doesn't do & usually it does it better.
Years ago I setup a DOS game PC, it ran 3 years, then the kid pulled the plug.
Drivespace repaired the drive, & it's still running today, over 5 more years!
Linux easily has that kind of feasability, & better than that on most accounts.

Has anyone ever had an install of Win. that lasted more than a few years at best?
An operating system that can't stand the test of time is infeasable by any standard.
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Tue 12 Dec 2006, 22:32    Post subject:  

Warning, this is a long, reminiscent post about my old Win98SE setup. Sorry. Feel free to skip.

Quote:
Has anyone ever had an install of Win. that lasted more than a few years at best?

I don't know how long it had been working before I got it, but my Windows 98SE setup lasted at least four years with me at the keyboard, which is a pretty considerable feat (even Puppy hasn't lasted more than a couple months of my continuous use). I had Litestep as the shell (taskbar and desktop) rather than Explorer, which drastically cut down on the "Explorer has caused an illegal operation" errors, along with being more useful (Linux-style right-click) and infinitely better looking. I played with a registry-editor and moved "Program Files" and the desktop folder to a separate harddrive. I manually edited the registry to point at an icon library file instead of shell32.dll to make system icon changing easier (didn't like the idea of editing shell32.dll itself). As a consequence, I installed XP icons (minus alpha-trans) and could swap the library for any other set I wanted. I also swapped out the sounds for Sonic the Hedgehog soundeffects, except the error sound, which I replaced with a car-crash from one of my SimCity games (makes an error sound really bad). I installed Context, a text-editor with syntax-highlighting, tabs, and geometric-selecting. Winzip was some 200-300 days late for it's registration and going strong. The 'bird was reborn a 'fox on that system.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention Winamp. You see, there was a "glitch" with Litestep that made the entire desktop (minus icons and taskbar) become the Winamp visualization. To this day, that was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen a computer do, period.


Wanna take a guess what killed my fun? Windows Update. One day I ran it, just like all the other days, and the computer dropped dead. By this point I had Puppy running full steam, so I gave up on fixing it after half a week and dug out my old Windows disks. I spent a good day figuring out my keys (they were missing a character or two, and hard to tell if it's a G or 6) and reinstalling basic stuff like Word. Never bothered re-tweaking it as I didn't use it anymore anyway, and I was already planning out my new computer (gave the old machine to my brother).

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Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. --Muad'Dib

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lickthefrog2


Joined: 22 Nov 2006
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Tue 19 Dec 2006, 02:03    Post subject:  

Flash wrote:
But the whole point of the original post of this thread, as I understood it, is that when a beginner looks under the hood of Linux for the first time he sees a pile of spaghetti. Sure, if he sticks with it he may unravel it enough to make sense of it, but why bother? That *other* OS offers an easier way to get the job done. Most people just want to use a computer to do something. They don't want to marry the thing, and they'd rather not have to go back to school just to get it to do what they want, if they can avoid it. Isn't that what application programs are for?"


Well, I'm sure I'm not qualified enough with Linux to really add a valuable perspective from an expert side, but from an observer's perspective, this fascinates me. Thanks to this thread, I took a look at GoboLinux's site but haven't decided yet to try it.

To be honest, the debate is probably useful, and I'm sure that Linux expert opinions are far more valuable than people who are new to it. I have seen threads devoted to the File System and the experts really thrash the people who don't know enough about why the directories are where they are.

Personally, I don't mind learning, though learning is taking some time. I used to have to dig around Windows hidden files and I am doing the same thing in Linux. This is my learning process. Actually, Linux is easier because back then I didn't even know there was such a thing as a user forum where so much valuable information is shared.

The reason why I'm using Linux isn't because it's easier or better or anything like that. It's for philosophical reasons. The free and open source nature of Linux and most of the software that runs on it is why I'm here. I'm here because I heard Eben Moglen talk about why free and open source software is so important.

Are there things I wish were easier? Yes. Am I going to try and recommend Linux to people? Yes, but with some caveats (in a lot of cases, I'm thinking about older people who simply aren't interested in learning, but who have machines that aren't upgrading well to new Windows). That's why I like Puppy.

Anyway, as I said, I'm sure the debate is valuable, but in this case, I'll just wait and follow the leaders in the movement. For me, lately, my heroes are based around this site.

Thanks,
lickthefrog2
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