[olug] linux web server management ?

Phil Brutsche phil at brutsche.us
Wed Dec 18 20:58:33 UTC 2002

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far way, someone said...

> I'm not familiar with Debian or debconf in particular.  Does debconf
> provide a full interface for managing configuration information?  In other
> words, can I use it over and over to tweak an application's configuration,
> with full access to all configurable options?


> If so, that's the sort of solution I think is necessary, but it has to
> be portable (i.e. I should be able to _easily_ use it on my Mandrake
> box) and should be based on standard interfaces, rather than hacked code
> for every package.  With a good set of standards you could provide a
> generic utility for configuring packages that don't supply a more robust
> utility.

Good luck!

This has been suggested over and over and over....

Until all developers reach a consensus as to what standard configuration
system to use, you will constantly be learning different config files and
writing custom modules for stuff like Webmin.

Windows - the most common example - isn't as simple as people suggest.
On the few Windows servers I am responsible for (or have been responsible
for) at work I have different pieces of software to configure:

Active Directory
NT4 Domains
SMTP/POP3/IMAP servers
database servers
fax server software

Each and every one of them requires a different tool - some of them aren't
all that well documented compared to the Apache documentation web site or
the Exim specification.  Being a GUI doesn't make the configuration tool
any simpler :(

The only way to make everything configurable through the same interface is
to throw out anything not written by Microsoft and abandon everything
older than Windows 2000.

> Better yet, with standards established you can present APIs for accessing
> configuration information, removing this burden entirely from individual
> applications.  In other words, from a developer's stand point the Win32
> Registry API is a god send, even if the monolothic binary registry file is
> obviously a mistake that Linux wouldn't need to repeat to get the benefits
> of a standard configuration mechanism.

This has been suggested - the KDE and GNOME desktop environments even use
it.  And it's a WONDERFUL idea.

But it's just that - an idea - until you can get people to actually USE
the APIs.


Phil Brutsche
phil at brutsche.us

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