Caldera made a start at something like this several years ago with COAS (www.coas.org (http://www.coas.org)). I think the last time anything was done on this was late 1999. Might be worth looking at, as there
are some technical notes (and code) there. Also might be useful to find out why it didn't fly (I suspect it was the competition from linuxconf and webmin as much as anything).
Interested me as Python was to be the source language, which sounds like a good idea.