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Date:      Sat, 21 Jan 2012 05:39:08 +0000
From:      "'Frank Shute'" <frank@shute.org.uk>
To:        Devin Teske <devin.teske@fisglobal.com>
Cc:        'Chad Perrin' <perrin@apotheon.com>, 'Dave Robison' <daver@vicor.com>, freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: FreeBSD 9
Message-ID:  <20120121053908.GA8988@orange.esperance-linux.co.uk>
In-Reply-To: <051e01ccd713$2b18ae50$814a0af0$@fisglobal.com>
References:  <BLU160-W54C133B8003EF140C41EF7AE860@phx.gbl> <loom.20120119T094302-811@post.gmane.org> <4EFDA3B50040906E@> <20120119164234.GB21488@hemlock.hydra> <04db01ccd6df$a6ebe3f0$f4c3abd0$@fisglobal.com> <20120119200106.GB88862@orange.esperance-linux.co.uk> <04ff01ccd6fa$ca9a4e20$5fceea60$@fisglobal.com> <20120120005142.GC88862@orange.esperance-linux.co.uk> <051e01ccd713$2b18ae50$814a0af0$@fisglobal.com>

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On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 05:31:00PM -0800, Devin Teske wrote:
>
>=20
>=20
> > -----Original Message----- From: 'Frank Shute'
> > [mailto:frank@shute.org.uk] Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2012 4:52
> > PM To: Devin Teske Cc: 'Chad Perrin';
> > freebsd-questions@freebsd.org; Dave Robison Subject: Re: FreeBSD 9
> >=20
> > On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 02:36:29PM -0800, Devin Teske wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > > >
> > > > > I believe the "difficulty in maintenance" stems primarily
> > > > > from the fact that the existing partition editor MAY have to
> > > > > be entirely rewritten to accommodate other root filesystem
> > > > > types (but even that's not entirely true -- if done right).
> > > > >
> > > > > Other than that, it's most likely just FUD and misperception
> > > > > that sysinstall(8) is either (a) hard to maintain or (b)
> > > > > hard to extend.  -- Devin
> > > >
> > > > To quote the manpage for sysinstall:
> > > >
> > > > BUGS
> > > >
> > > > <snip>
> > > >
> > > >      This utility is a prototype which lasted several years
> > > >      past its expira- tion date and is greatly in need of
> > > >      death.
> > > >
> > > >      There are a (great) number of undocumented variables.
> > > >      UTSL.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Perspective.
> > >
> > > Let's take a look at the commit history for this manual.
> >=20
> > Let's not. Let us discuss the merit of what the manpage says.
> >=20
> > "There are a (great) number of undocumented variables."
> >=20
> > From my reading of postings to this list and stable@,
>=20
> yet not -sysinstall@ (?!)

Didn't know it existed until now!

>=20
> > it was felt that sysinstall couldn't be extended without a total
> > re-write, that seems to suggest that the manpage is right and is
> > not FUD.
> >=20
>=20

> I disagree. Just because you document something doesn't make it
> true.
>=20
> I've already discussed the fact that the first line you quoted ("in
> need of death") is 15+ years old and we have no way of tracking its
> origin and thus can't extrapolate why on-Earth it was put into a
> "release-quality product" in the first place.
>=20
> The second line you quote (which was added 2 years 10 months ago via
> SVN r189754 by grog@) has everything to do with highlighting the
> fact that sysinstall(8) is highly scriptable through a large number
> of under-documented dispatch keywords and nothing to do with the
> "total re-write" issue you're discussing.
>=20
> Plus, the keywords are a lot more documented than you think. If a
> dispatch word is not documented, there's probably good cause (a
> great number of the dispatch keywords are meant for internal use
> only and their documentation would merely invite strangeness only
> reserved for people that know what they're doing -- i.e.  they can
> read the code to learn what their function is).
>=20
> However, I will concede to the fact that the number of dispatch
> keywords that are documented versus ones that CAN be used is only
> about 33%.
>=20
> Here's how I generated that number...
>=20
> awk '/VAR_/{sub(/[^"]*"/,"");sub(/"$/,"");print}'
> /usr/src/usr.sbin/sysinstall/sysinstall.h | sh -c 'while read var;do
> zgrep -q "\<$var\>" /usr/share/man/man8/sysinstall.8.gz &&
> varcount=3D$((${varcount:-0}+1));done;echo $varcount'
>=20
> This returns the number of variables -- as-defined-as a dispatch
> keyword in sysinstall.h -- are present in the manual.
>=20
> In 9.0-RELEASE, it returns "33" for me.
>=20
> In contrast with the number of dispatch keywords, obtainable by:
>=20
> awk '/VAR_/{print}' | wc -l
>=20
> which returns 105 for me ... minus the "markedly internal keywords"
> which begin with "_"...
>=20
> awk '/VAR_/{print}' | grep -vc '"_'
>=20
> We see 101 supposedly-usable dispatch keywords which brings us to
> about 33% documentation.
>=20
> However, I will re-iterate...
>=20
> The first quote you pulled from the man-page was made 15+ years ago,
> the second quote you pulled was from 2+ years ago and the two are
> not related. The first declares some inferred quality about the code
> itself and the second simply states that the variable keywords are
> under-documented. One not-necessarily imply the other or vice-versa.
> -- Devin
>=20

Devin, damn you with your logic, sensible arguments &
*statistics*....[spit] ;)

You've obviously got more invested in sysinstall than I have. It was
always a thing that I just muddled through to get a minimal system up
& running.

But if you're using the scripting interface then I can see that you
would want something of equivalent functionality in the replacement,
bsdinstall.


Regards,

--=20

 Frank

 Contact info: http://www.shute.org.uk/misc/contact.html



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