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Re: Any news about Blends in tasks selection (Was: Debian Installer Jessie Beta 2 release)

Hi Cyril,

On Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 10:14:53AM +0200, Cyril Brulebois wrote:
> > 
> > In other words:  I perfectly know the fact that Blends are widely
> > ignored even amongst Debian developers and that's not about you / the
> > debian-boot team - perhaps my "running around and tell people" is just
> > not the right way to convince people.  At least I can tell that those
> > people who were listening started to like the idea [see 1].
> to clarify a bit: my surprise was about blends support in tasksel/d-i.
> I've known about blends for a while but I don't think that topic popped
> up in my debian-boot radar during the whole Jessie release cycle.

I admit I expected *you* to know about Blends for a while - but
considering the video recorded quote I think I was not wrong using this
chance to point this out for other readers of this mail as it is really
a fact that I always meet DDs who mix up this concept with derivatives.
> > Well, Blends and "the desktop situation" could be considered orthogonal.
> > The main goal of a Blend is not primarily to tweak the desktop (even if
> > this could be done).  It is rather about the applications.  In Debian
> > Med we even have a cluster task which contains exclusively those
> > packages which can be run without a graphical desktop (bio-cloud [2]).
> I meant the needed changes in tasksel to support both desktop selection
> and blends.


> > ...
> > earlier, yes.  The reason why at least I stayed away from this since
> > 2003 (#186085) was that I have seen little chances to change the
> > refusal.  However, since recently some Blends of some more general
> > interest like Debian Games and Debian GIS started or gained some
> > traktion resp.  the idea came up to rise this question on IRC in the
> > DebConf talk.
> Blends… support in d-i (during this release cycle) was what I meant,
> sorry for being unclear. Hopefully that was covered by the above
> clarification. ;)

Yes it was. :-)  However, I also had taken the chance to refer to an
earlier bug (perhaps also to review its old arguments).
> > I perfectly agree that you as the one person army keeping Debian Boot
> > alive (hey, do you like the Blends born idea to prove this point[4]??)
> > should not spend extra time cycles into the implementation.
> That really isn't true, there are many other developers, reporters, and
> patch providers. I'm only adding glue or oil where needed… Of course we
> could do with more hands (look at the BTS), but I'm far for being the
> only one working on d-i.

I agree that my term was a bit in terms of a compliment in the sense of
a "friendly lie".  I was not trying to underestimate the work of those
people who are providing smaller contributions.  However, you really
find lots of graphs similar like[4] which show the feature of one
dominant person at a certain time.  Perhaps you take this as:  Thanks
for the effort you spent obviously for debian-boot.

> > That's in fact a quite motivating incentive and I perfectly agree that
> > we really should start rather yesterday than today.  The thing is that
> > it is not really clear to me, what we should do rather than adding the
> > packages
> > 
> >    edu-tasks
> >    games-tasks
> >    gis-tasks
> >    junior-tasks
> >    med-tasks
> >    science-tasks
> >    debichem-tasks
> >    ezgo-tasks
> > 
> > (multimedia-tasks is not ready according to their maintainer[5]) to the
> > boot disks.
> > 
> > Joey Hess as tasksel maintainer mentioned "limited amount of space in
> > tasksel for blends" but this does not give a sensible hint of what exact
> > action we should do now.  I think currently eight additional lines is
> > not that much.  I also totally contradict to Joey's statement "The
> > 'Debian Pure Blends' effort has been around for several releases and
> > been publicised." and I take [1] as sufficient argument that it is not
> > the case.  Blends were never ever regarded in practice as some Debian
> > internal thing and *every* time when I talk about Blends on conferences
> > and in private discussions I will be asked:  "Why don't you do this cool
> > stuff right into Debian instead of a derivative?"  It would *really*
> > help in this kind of discussion to point to the Debian installer ...
> > 
> > So if we would get some helping hand what exactly technically needs to
> > be done, we could try to come up with some solution.
> I'm not sure we have 8 slots at the moment. I'm pretty sure a scrollbar
> (if at all feasible) in a multi-choice menu would be a bad idea.

I agree here.  However, I think it would be a shame to drop a good idea
(and as far as I understood the responses to the bug it is considered
good by several people) since we failed to find a sensible menu design.

> Maybe we'd need a separate prompt for blends.

I perfectly agree that some additional menu level would be the most
natural way in my eyes.  I think I mentioned this before. Hmmm, just
wondering why I can't find this term in the previous bugreport(s) since
I always imagined this.  May be there is no instance of this since there
never was a real discussion whether we should do it at all and thus
implementation details were not discussed at all.

> Joey will likely be able to tell
> you more about this.

I'm keen in hearing this. :-)

Kind regards


[4] http://blends.debian.net/liststats/authorstat_debian-boot.png


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