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Re: [acf] Re: [alpine-devel] Ideas for a new config framework, ACF2

From: Jerry Jacobs <>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 18:29:02 +0100

As a theme suggestion if people didn't already know the sleek and nice
organised Twitter Bootstrap which saves the clutter from re-inventing
the wheel again:

On 29 November 2012 17:36, Der Tiger <> wrote:
> Hi Natanael,
> Hi Kaarle,
> Thanks for the comprehensive project plan! I fully agree, the current
> ACF is good work, but needs overhauling, due to the problems stated in
> the proposal. At this stage, I am just not sure if using JavaScript and
> introducing client-side GUIs would be wise choices.
> - ACF is a configuration framework. IMHO, the configuration of most
> Alpine systems is usually done by a single admin or at least a small
> number of admins, who usually won't do administration work on a single
> machine, simultaneously. Therefore, there is no significant server
> performance benefit to be expected from outsourcing HTML page formatting
> to the client side. ACF is not a "common user" interface.
> - Using JavaScript would introduce another programming language required
> besides shell scripting and LUA to write ACF applications and modules.
> Not every programmer interested in Alpine Linux is capable or willing to
> handle an extensive number of programming languages in order to write
> packages for Alpine Linux. The higher the required number of languages,
> the fewer the number of people able and willing to contribute.
> - JavaScript is considered by all internet security majors to be a
> potential security risk. This is not only due to security bugs in
> various browsers (e.g. Chrome), but also due to the complexity of
> JavaScript interaction with servers. Most companies filter JavaScript in
> their local nets and allow it only on secure channels between clients
> and the internet in order to make some websites work, where there is no
> alternative method available than a client script (e.g. large volume
> data browsing). Using JavaScript for configuration of a local
> environment does compromise this security strategy.
> - JavaScript adds complexity to the HTML page transmitted and displayed.
> It is likely, there are devices like PDAs or mobile phones, that won't
> be able to handle certain JavaScript initiated reformatting of web pages
> correctly. Admins do frequently use PDAs to reconfigure their servers
> and routers or to look up some configuration on these devices. Also
> there is the issue of DHTML incompatibilities between browsers.
> - KISS [1], as you certainly know. The more components are required for
> the ACF to work, the higher the risk the next update will render the
> system inoperable. And there are already JSON, LUA, minihttpd and
> various other components involved.
> I, admittedly, do have strong reservations regarding both, Java and
> JavaScript. A co-worker once eloquently put it to: "Java and JavaScript
> in 99% of all cases are used by programmers to work around problems,
> they either don't understand or don't care to solve properly." I've
> largely experienced this to be true.
> Personally, I'd prefer a slim, slick and lean HTML-only configuration
> GUI with pages generated by the host rather than the client. But than
> again, I'm just an old f_at_rt, who has no appreciation for "modern",
> blinking, multi-layered and high colour pop-up interfaces, that are as
> slow as a snail and close to indistinguishable from any given first
> person shooter action game.
> Kind Regards, Tiger
> [1] KISS = Keep it simple, stupid!
> Am 2012-11-29 15:23, schrieb Natanael Copa:
>> Hi,
>> Me and Kaarle have been playing with the idea "what if we started with
>> ACF from scratch today, how would it be?".
>> We collected some ideas and have now come up with a fairly detailed
>> plan for an ACF2.
>> Some of the goals:
>> * better security design
>> * remove unnecessary complexity from modules
>> * organize the libs better
>> * fix concurrency - no race conditions
>> * improve CLI interface
>> * modernize web GUI (write the gui in javascript)
>> For web frontend we have been talking of using existing frameworks like
>> Backbone.js and RequireJS. For backend we have been talking about using
>> things like augeas and using Lua tables to create data models.
>> Kaarle has written are more detailed plan:
>> This will require some massive work but I think we can do it. Hopefully
>> it will be simpler to write models once the basic framework is in place.
>> What do you think?
>> -nc
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Received on Thu Nov 29 2012 - 18:29:02 UTC