Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
GUI Programming Software Technology

10 Dos and Don'ts To Make Sysadmins' Lives Easier 246

CowboyRobot writes "Tom Limoncelli has a piece in 'Queue' summarizing the Computer-Human Interaction for Management of Information Technology's list of how to make software that is easy to install, maintain, and upgrade. FTA: '#2. DON'T make the administrative interface a GUI. System administrators need a command-line tool for constructing repeatable processes. Procedures are best documented by providing commands that we can copy and paste from the procedure document to the command line.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

10 Dos and Don'ts To Make Sysadmins' Lives Easier

Comments Filter:
  • by subreality ( 157447 ) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @04:09PM (#34654360)

    It's a top-10 list that actually has insightful information on how to do software right, instead of being a random collection of ten things to make a fluff article. Bonus points for being things that I actually agree with.

  • by Zarhan ( 415465 ) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @04:33PM (#34654530)

    ...if the GUI is well done and complements command line.. Some tasks actually ARE much better performed with Point&Click.

    One example of a "good" GUI that I use a lot is the ASDM for Cisco ASA firewalls. Most of the simpler admin tasks are in fact *faster* via ASDM. If you have your network objects all properly set up and you need to add a firewall rule, it's far simpler to select it from a list (actually, in this case it's a combobox - just type first few letters to filter your choices and then click) than typing that stuff in manually. Packet tracer to check the rules is much nicer to use via the GUI. Setting up VPN profiles is simpler via ASDM. Handling network object groupings is simpler via ASDM.

    Editing access-lists, doing routing configuration and most of the more "rudimentary" tasks are still something I do via command line, though.

  • by Jaime2 ( 824950 ) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @05:36PM (#34655100)
    Of course, good error handling is best. But, no error handling is usually better than cargo-cult error handling that displays a pretty message, but doesn't record the error detail anywhere. Very few things bother me more in a code review than somebody who put in the extra effort to ensure that an error message can never be found, I would have rather they simply skipped it.
  • Re:It's noce to know (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @07:05PM (#34655822) Journal

    A GUI is NOT fine for administering a broken system over a slow link to the other side of the world.

    I used to remotely administer a set of servers in the middle east. The bandwidth was tiny, and the latency was insane. I would type a command out, then take a sip of coffee while waiting to see it displayed before hitting "enter." I had to use a GUI for one application, and it took over 40 minutes to fire up and display on my machine.

    Mandatory (and well-designed) GUIs should be for using an application, not administering or installing it.

  • by skarphace ( 812333 ) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @07:19PM (#34655916) Homepage

    I wonder if there are forums on the Web where plumbers shit all over eachother.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal