[Mageia-dev] Proposed Feature:UiAbstraction4mcc

Steven Tucker tuxta2 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 13 13:59:11 CEST 2012


MCC is great, and I would love to be able to admin using it regardless 
of whether I am using text interface or gtk/qt. The interface is 
completely different in curses than gtk interfaces. Curses version is a 
second rate citizen, and Gui is all GTK. A lot of the tools are not 
available in curses interface, for instance, I don't see a way to 
install software or managing repositories. It would be nice to have qt 
version as well as gtk (not a major issue, but would be nice)

*Possible solution* I have thought how this could be addressed and feel 
that in the long term, the best solution would be to have the interface 
layer abstracted. So when developing a module, you use the mcc UI 
library, so you may call for instance mccGui.pushButton then if you are 
running in curses it creates a curses button, if you are in KDE it 
creates a QPushButton, if you are in Gnome it creates a GTKButton. This 
would take a great deal of work, so I started looking around to find any 
existing libraries. The first place I looked was openSuSE as Yast does 
exactly what I am describing. In yast, the interface is laid out and 
works the same way whether you are using curses, Gtk or Qt. To my 
surprise they have put a lot of work into separating their Ui library 
from the Yast tools. You can use the library to write curses/gtk/qt 
programs that use the appropriate widget as needed, independent of Yast. 
We could use the Yast Back end, and adapt our front end to use it. This 
option would take the least amount of work, as there are perl bindings 
to the yast libraries, and so it would only be the gui layer that would 
need reworking. The current gtk only modules could become curses/qt/gtk 
modules by changing the gtk calls to yast backend calls.

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that we port Yast to Mageia, I am 
suggesting we use its Ui abstraction only. I use Mageia over openSuse 
for many reasons, but I do admire how well Yast works, and would love to 
see similar in Mageia. Perhaps we could start planning the next 
generation of MCC ??

  Why it would be good for Mageia to include it

It would provide consistency across terminal and gui administration, and 
in doing so provide an easy entry into text based administration for 

Providing the abstraction layer would mean all modules created will be 
available to all users.

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