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packages (was Re: [woody,debinst] `parted' and non-DOS compatible partitioning schemes)

Karl M. Hegbloom wrote:
>  We'll have to put that "on the board" for this project.  Who will act
>  as secretary?  The list software?
>  Joey Hess is obviously very busy and should not be expected to manage
>  the `debinst' whiteboard himself.

I've seen a lot of ideas thrown out in this thread about existing pieces
of software that may be useful for a redesigned boot-floppies. I
personally feel that's a bit premature; I'd like to concentrate on
coming up with a full-fledged design, then we can see what pieces of
software can be used to help imeplement it.

Would someone like to keep a list (in CVS, perhaps), of the software
mentioned so far in this thread, and anything else that comes up? It'd
be a shame to forget about any of it.

Moving back to design, as I've mentioned, one thing I think a redesigned
boot-floppies needs (besides a new name ;-) is some sort of modules.
Modules in this case are rather like debian packages. They can exist as
standalone files. The files can also be unpacked and installed into the
installation system's ramdisk, where they hook into the installation
system and it's GUI in various (unspecified yet) ways.

The installation system itself, is planned to consist of about 3

1. UI
2. file retreiver (can get other modules and other files from somewhere)
3. installer (glue code that makes all the other modules work, and can
   unpack modules)

These would already be installed on the ramdisk that gets booted. Other
modules might then be retreived and installed to add capabilities to the
installer (partitioner module, formatter module, base system 
builder/unpacker module, a full bisybox and shell environment module, tetris,

I've been pondering for a couple of months what file format these
modules should use. I'm currently favoring just using plain old .deb

These wouldn't be .deb's that are policy complient, or that you'd want
to install onto a real debian system. (They would in fact, probably have
dependancies to prevent that.) But I can see lots of benefits to using
debs. We know how to build them. They're simple to extract, requiring
only 3 programs. We have structures in place to manage them. They even
give us dependancies if we find we need such a thing.

I can't see any real disadvantages over a plain tarball, except a tad
more size.

see shy jo

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