[lsb-discuss] lsb-discuss Digest, Vol 120, Issue 1

Brian Mayer blmayer at icloud.com
Wed Nov 2 23:46:44 UTC 2016


First, if we use variables the way I specified in a previous message we can set the defaults to be the ones needed for FHS. The advantage is customization and flexibility. As the freedom 0 in the definition of free software [1] says:

"The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0)"

And this clarification from the same source:

"The freedom to run the program means the freedom for any kind of person or organization to use it on any kind of computer system, for any kind of overall job and purpose, without being required to communicate about it with the developer or any other specific entity. In this freedom, it is the user's purpose that matters, not the developer's purpose; you as a user are free to run the program for your purposes, and if you distribute it to someone else, she is then free to run it for her purposes, but you are not entitled to impose your purposes on her."

So one can say that using hardcoded directories is the developer's purpose, the purpose of complying with FHS, and aiming at what is standard. And there is nothing wrong with that, but when this compliance imposes difficulties to the user's purpose, then it is wrong, moreover, against freedom 0. 

Hence using variables instead of hardcoded directories is not against FHS if the default value is the FHS one, and at the same time preserves the use's purpose because it is a more flexible code. 

[1] https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html#mission-statement

Brian Mayer

Sent from my iPad

> On Nov 1, 2016, at 1:33 PM, Cyril Hrubis <chrubis at suse.cz> wrote:
> Hi!
>> I'm proposing a standard way to define important directories by means of variables, so, instead of having
>> echo > /dev/null 2>&1 ;
>> we would have 
>> echo > $DEVDIR/null 2>&1 ;
>> This way we don't get errors of file not found. And it will work in any machine, I mean, machines with non standard file hierarchy. 
> Having null anywhere else than in /dev/ is against FHS[1] which is part
> of LSB[2]. I would say that it is pretty much fine to hardcode paths to
> files that are required to be there by the standard anyway.
> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_Hierarchy_Standard
> [2] https://wiki.linuxfoundation.org/lsb/fhs
> -- 
> Cyril Hrubis
> chrubis at suse.cz
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