Easy configuration script editors
I'm not a coder, but that doesn't prevent me from having ideas whose expansion may require a coders mind.
As far as I am aware present GUI configuration tools tend to introduce some complex garbage into the configuration files they edit, or create some intermediary files which only create additional complexity on the overall system.
I assume this is because these tools are developed to just, no matter what, allow the user to configure something with a few mouse clicks. It is assumed that this user wont care what these mouse clicks end up doing to the underlying configuration files and so added complexity, garbage and whatnot is tolerated. You probably know what this ends up becoming on scale of a whole distribution such as Ubuntu, SUSE etc. which are filled with GUI tools, but also with daunting configuration scripts, schemes and barely readable configuration files in the system.
So how about a different approach to creating these configuration tools? Instead of only wanting to have the tool configure something, we start caring about not having this tool introduce any additional complexity. How about a GUI tool which is like a bolt-on text editor editing a configuration file directly, but with configuration file words and syntax converted into some easier to understand buttons or so?
For example, a tool for configuring X would be just a bolt-on GUI frontend to /etc/X11/xorg.conf meant to read that specific file and convert its syntax to buttons, check boxes, drop down boxes etc. So for example when the user wants to set allowed screen resolutions for X he uses a drop down menu which in turn directly writes properly syntaxed entries to the appropriate place in xorg.conf in a clean readable way.
Note that for every single configuration file we would need a special bolt-on GUI front end. It's much like front ends to command line programs, only these are front ends to configuration text files.
Maybe this direct bolt-on approach to making GUI tools would eliminate the need for adding complexity and unreadability to configuration files and scripts whenever we want to have a GUI.
Anyway, I had to get the idea out of my head. If it sounds silly because I'm missing something or I am stating the obvious or an old idea feel free to say.