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Bug#758116: Allow to select Blends selection during installation - just "DE", "Web server", "Mail server" is NOT enough

Hi Cyril,

thanks for your response.

On 17.05.2016 02:13, Cyril Brulebois wrote:
> I'm not sure how reasonable it is to have such a long list of meta
> packages in the installer. See attached tasksel-gtk-greyscale.png for
> the initial display with the graphical installer, and attached
> tasksel-text-greyscale.png for the text mode installer.

I don't see it problematic as it is in the moment: The list is not too
long: Even if it does not fit on one screen, the rest is visible with
just one scroll, and this is indicated by the scroollbar. And I don't
think that the number of options is too much (it shouldn't be much more,

> Also, not sure about the (lack of) ordering in Debian Pure Blends.
> The Debian desktop environment submenu might be considered a bit special
> (esp. after the default desktop changes…), but I don't see why the DPB
> one should be unsorted. (See attached tasksel-unsorted-greyscale.png)

There is no specific order of the blends. One might think of some
structuring -- many blends are somehow science related, while others are
not --, but there is not much more to say about the internal structure.
And I have no idea how to get a better order even in this sense. In the
moment, they are alphabetically sorted, and this somehow reflects the
order they appear in the blends web page [1]. It also may help to find a
specific blend. Another idea would be to sort by popconn, but this is
not transparent to the end user. And, other than that, I see nothing
that would make list f.e. Debian Astro before or after DebiChem.

To improve that, two things have to be done: First, the tasksel
mechanism should allow ordered lists (in the moment, they are
automatically sorted as long as they have the same priority) -- please
open a bug report for this, if needed. Second, we need a good idea *how*
they should be actually ordered so that a specific blend can easily be
found. Do you have a proposal?

One problem here is the limited support of debconf for structures: there
is one (hackish) level of sections (eaten up by the "Debian Pure Blends"
section), but no folding or similar. Since this is discussed now over
years without anyone actually implementing an improvement here, I doubt
that that willbe changed before the next release, so we need something
that works in the current scheme (well, unless *you* volunteer to
implement this ;-) ). And I also think that for an installer, there
should not be too much structure, since this makes the installation too
complicated. On the other hand, the current implementation is criticized
by some blends, f.e. NeuroDebian, who wishes a specific selection up to
the package level here.

Do you have any proposals what should be changed?

Best regards


[1] https://www.debian.org/blends/

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