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Re: [mingp@COREL.CA: How we can with your Setup Engine?]

"Ming Poon" <mingp@corel.ca> writes:

   > Actually, we already have this, but rather than making it X based,
   > we're using the FrameBuffer devices from the 2.2 kernels.  This
   > actually *can* fit on a 1440KB floppy.

   We would like to break up the setup into engine components and UI components
   and the two should be independent of each other as much as

In fact, this is the way that it is already done.  There is a single
file, boxes.c, that contains most of the UI; that is the main file
that I've had to write a new version of as I write the FB setup code.
I plan to move the remaining bits of UI into that file as I continue
my work on the FB install over the coming weeks.

   This way, people can use the power of the setup engine to create
   whatever UI they prefer to drive the setup engine to suit their
   needs. In my mind, the FB code is still very important for the 1st
   stage install before the VGA16 X Server is installed and loaded for
   the 2nd stage, more user-friendly setup UI.

Excellent plan.  I highly approve.

   I think once we have a chance to study your setup source code, things will
   become much clearer for us. We can then suggest to you which area we can
   contribute to the most. We would still welcome a To-Do list from you so we
   can pick out the things we are good at for the moment or try to hunt for
   potential candidates who are good at those areas. Thanks.

My personal to-do list for the install includes the following:

* Selectable language.

* It would be nice to have exhaustive documentation and explanation
  available at install time, on diskette or CD.

* How about an `expert install' floppy that omits dinstall but has
  nicer command-line tools?

* RAID install.

* Auto-install via prewritten options on diskette or NFS or whatever.

* Partition-Magic or FIPS or whatever (on another disk?).

Vincent Renardias <vincent@ldsol.com> shared some suggestions for the
partitioning tool with me tonight that I hope he won't mind my passing

a "cfdisk with the ability to shrink FAT partitions" (ie: cfdisk +
fsresize) would be cool.
I'm not too much in favour of a Disk Druid like interface since most
people actually find it confusing. The problem being most beginners don't
have the concept of mountpoints, and mixing partitions and mountpoints in
the same screen just confuse them.
If there are several disks, I don't know if their partitions should be
presented in the same screen layout or not.
In my experience, many people also try weird partition size (like trying
to install the whole system on a 32MB partition).

The partitioning tool should(may?) also:
1/ whine (ok, ask confirmation) for things that really look weird (ie:
swap partition 10 times bigger than the actual RAM, '/' partition
smaller than 32 MB, etc...)
2/ record the available space somewhere, and use it to warn if the
selected packages won't fix on the HD _before_ trying to install. (the Red
Hat installer doesn't get it right either)
3/ Offer to mount the DOS/NTFS/whatever-not-Linux-but-recognized=20
partitions in the Linux namespace (even Slackware has been doing this for

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