Many "intermediate absolute beginners" start to use & like the terminal and the SUDO command, but might not know what might happen if you start e.g. GEDIT or KATE with sudo instead of GKSUDO or KDESUDO.
gksu fails when logged in via ssh. I will sometimes (with permission of course) log into someone's computer and run an application remotely that they are having trouble with. It is much easier than walking them through it via phone/email and uses a LOT less bandwidth than a full vnc session.
having a --force-sudo option does fix the problem, but would be very annoying.
I also fail to see how gedit could cause root files to appear in your home folder, but a terminal app (such as vim) couldn't. Having "sudo vim /etc/....." try to launch and X11 authentication window ever time would be PAINFUL for system administrators.
The config file should only list commands that use the graphical interface, so vim wouldn't launch a X11 authentication window.
gedit and kate are just examples, they never caused a problem for me. But I had some folders and config files owned by root in my personal folder once when I sudo-installed something which started as a terminal installation but then launched a graphical installer later. And I think they won't warn you about the problem in the wiki if the problem doesn't occur.
I'm not a system administrator and never launched graphical applications via ssh, so I don't know about that part of the problem.
Just for clarification: I don't propose that sudo ALWAYS calls kdesudo or gksudo; only if you try to sudo specific graphical programs that should better be run with gksudo or kdesudo.
I still don't think I can vote either way until I find some examples of programs that cause problems with sudo. I've personally never heard of programs creating root-owned files in the home folder. I've run TONS of apps (both cli and gui) using sudo (gparted, nautilus, gedit, vim, etc) and never once run across such an issue. I'm not saying that it *never* happens, but if it's something that only occurs with 1 or 2 obscure apps, I don't think it's worth calling gksudo when users are INTENTIONALLY using sudo (since the gksudo prompt can be annoying and jolting when you are expecting to enter your password into the command line).
I actually find it kind of odd that there is such an explicit warning in the ubuntu wiki when A) I've NEVER come across or even heard of this issue before. B) They don't site any examples of apps that cause this C) They don't explain why the program being "graphical" has anything to do with it.
Just for kicks, what would "gvim" be classified under? As far as I know it is nothing but a gui wrapper for vim, so I can't see the gui part actually making and file alterations differently than regular vim.
A) If X is not running as root, is this still an issue?
B) Does ubuntu still run X as root (many distros and DE's are moving away from that design)
C) What happens when you run an app remotely (ssh -X into a server without an X server but with a graphical app you wish to use)?
Assuming the problem *is* caused by running X as root: If Ubuntu isn't running X as root there's nothing that needs to be done (other than possibly updating the wiki). If ubuntu is still running X as root, maybe we need to work on *that* first as it not only fixes this problem, but closes some VERY serious security holes we have been warned about for years.