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Old 04-07-2012, 02:09 PM
Paul E Condon
Default Problems in fonts in console appear again (and rant on /etc/default) in re. the rant

On 20120407_111413, Brian wrote:
> On Fri 06 Apr 2012 at 21:45:00 -1000, Joel Roth wrote:
> > On Sat, Apr 07, 2012 at 12:48:35AM +0100, Brian wrote:
> > >
> > > And run 'setupcon' after making the changes?
> >
> > This works for me. :-)
> >
> > I never had thought about configuring the console before.
> >
> > My issue had been 80-character fonts for GRUB, then tiny
> > fonts (132 columns?) after boot.
> >
> > 32x16 is a good size for me, however Terminus is squarish,
> > uglier than the default font IMO.
> It's a matter of taste but I'm inclined to agree with you. However, you
> can get used to them if you use the console a lot, and I don't think
> there is anything else easily available if you want a decent sized font.
> Have a look at the use of a VARIANT for quickly changing font size on a
> particular terminal. The setupcon manual explains it well.
> > OT RANT: Debian's use of /etc/default drives me nuts!
> Welcome to the land of a 1001 configuration files.

I like Debian's attempt to address default configuration in an
organized way, but ...

All defaults, including configuration defaults, have an implicit
domain of applicability. A default applies here (unstate assumed
domain of applicability), but not there (also unstated).

Some defaults are intended to hold only for a particular host.
Some hold for a particular LAN.
Some hold for an organization, like for instance, Debian, itself.
Some hold for the Debian package system as distinct from the Debian organization.

Not all defaults are configuration, but those that are configuration
must be fully disambiguated before a computer code can be
executed. All this stuff about default configuration is an extention
of the work that a linkage editor does. It must be done but it is too
detail oriented to be done without computer automation support. Real
programmers cannot code successfully in octal.

I repeat. I like defaults. I like Debian. But Debian is an unfinished
business, which will never be finished until after our civilization
has collapsed some time far in the future. There will always be a next
release under development and a better idea for how to do something
that some people think was absolutely decided long ago. The UNIX plan
has stood the test of time and survives, but the details of
implementation, not so much.

My suggestion for configuration stuff:

Have the /usr/share/docs/something directory include a complete list
of the places where the something package puts stuff with a notation
for each item as to whether the maintainer believes it is
configuration, or not. This list file might even be generated by a
script and serve the maintainer as a useful check list. An exhaustive
list, even without maintainer notation could be a change that will
stand the test of time, IMHO. With such lists, each Debian maintainer
can examine compare his/her usage pattern against the usage pattern of
all packages in Debian and perhaps maintain some sense of balance
about how and where, etc.

I like talking about the big picture. It is so much easier than
sweating the details of getting a program to work. Especially if I
can't find configuration files or don't even know that they
exist. ;-)

Paul E Condon

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