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From r..@ai.mit.edu (Robert S. Thau)
Subject Re: A vote for FreeBSD+Apache
Date Tue, 21 May 1996 15:34:55 GMT
  being able to punch up Netscape from anywhere in the world and reconfigure
  something with no hassle is wonderful...

Hmmm... in the new, Java, Java, Java, Java world, it seems to me that
Netscrape offers you the same flexibility whether your administrative
interface is tied to web formats and protocols or not.  (In fact, if the
server is done in Java, then making the config interface a set of Java
applets which do remote method calls on objects within the server might
well be the path of least resistance, using something like Horb, or Sun's
Joe for that matter).

  with a text-based interface like Apache's, you can have an
  unlimited number of options. We can stick in a
  "MakeFurryBunniesJumpOutOfEveryPageAndLaughAtTheUser On" directive,
  and unless they examine the source, they're none the wiser. With a GUI
  interface, it's much harder. :)

>From the Unabomber Haiku collection:

   The rabbits taunt me
   Like fed'ral jackbooted thugs
   Kill the rabbits.  Kill.

More seriously, one of the complaints I personally hear most frequently
about the Netscape interface is that there are certain facilities which
the server has, but which the forms-based interface does not expose ---
and people who want to use those are suddenly stuck manipulating the 40K
of relatively poorly documented ASCII crud which the Netscape admin tools
have written for them.

(One of my own desiderata for any whiz-bang config tool is that it should
allow people to do *anything* they could with config files directly; if that
means reading the command tables in the server to find out which commands
are legit, or allowing text commands to be typed in for literal inclusion
in <Directory> and <VirtualHost> sections, so be it.  It would probably be
for the best, however, to only display these sorts of options in a menu-
selectable "expert mode").

rst

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