System administration with GNOME.

Hello guys,

   One subject we have avoided during a long time in GNOME was the one
of writing system administration tools.  As time passes, it becomes
more obvious that we must address this to offer users a complete
desktop solution.

   We need to define a central place where configuration tools for the
system could be launched and write the tools.

   I am inclined to think that we can do all these tools using
Python/GNOME or Perl/GNOME for most of these tasks.  So we need to get
volunteers to work on the various things.

   A few things:

      1. Ideally we want to split the core of the work from the User
         Interface, for exaple in Perl we would have a routine that
         does all the work:

	      sub set_date {
		  my ($date) = @_;


	      lots_of_gui_stuff ();
	      set_date ($result_from_gui);

          So that eventually we could wrap "set_date" as a CORBA
          service (using Owen's nice ORBit-Perl stuff)

       2. I used to fear that tools that would work on BSD would not
          work properly on Linux or in some brand of Linux.

	  I think we just need to keep a file around, say in
	  $sysconfig/properties that would contain any unique
	  properties of a system.

	  For example:

	  And so on.  The basic idea being that we do not even have to
	  worry too much about this issue.  When the problem arises,
	  we add the new key, and we add the new code to handle it.

	  No over-designing of things here, or we will never get it done.

	3. Non GNOME front-ends are not a priority for now, but are
           still possible (specially if we do the function split I
           suggested above).

	   For doing that, using Perl for example, we could have:

	   And both the GNOME and the Web main programs would invoke
	   the "core" routines in

        4. I can set up a mailing list to discuss this if there is
           enough interest.

    So who wants to help? ;-)


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