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Re: [woody,debinst]

I've just been catching up on my mailing lists and reading the
intersting discussion about future direction of the installer for woody
(ie sorry this response is less than timely). Some good points are being
made. I don't feel I know the process well enough to comment on the
specifics but there are a couple of general points I'd like to make:

I agree with the fundamental 'plan before code' concept, and it seems
that now is a good time to make a policy descision about whether any new
design can help to integrate some of the considerations necessary for
small embedded Linux devices as well as big desktop Linux machines.

Some of you may be aware that emdebian.org has been created to generate a
debian-allied embedded linux distibution. My area of interest is ARM
devices, and a lot of the potential platforms are handheld/embdedded
devices (4Mb flash, 32Mb RAM, 100Mhz Strongarm, LCD+touchscreen, no hard
disk, no keyboard, or even 'smaller'), as opposed to desktops (10Gb+ HD,
32Mb+ ram, kdb, mouse, fast CPU, lots of devices etc). The variability
amongst devices is much greater than desktop machines which makes
designing installers 'interesting' as you really don't know what devices
they will have. Some have nothing but a serial or USB port and some RAM.

Emdebian.org is not a formal part of debian, but insofar as it is
possible/sensible we would like to include embedded considerations within
the normal debian distribution. A redesign of boot-floppies seems a good
time to see if such considerations can be accomodated.

So, the basic question is, can a new installer design be flexible enough
to allow for installations with no HD, only serial port interactions and
other general non-desktopness? Joey's modulear ideas, and some other
people's comments about supporting 'smll devices' sound promising, so I
hope we can achieve this.

I think that's enough for now. Please try to bear in mind these sorts of
things when considering the design. Talk to the emdebian people if you
need more info (cc:ed to the emdebian list). I can try to provide
relevant info as the project progresses, but if the prime movers really
don't want to cover non-desktop machines then say so, and I'll shut up
about it.

Aleph One Ltd, Bottisham, CAMBRIDGE, CB5 9BA, UK  Tel (00 44) 1223 811679
work: http://www.aleph1.co.uk/     play: http://www.chaos.org.uk/~wookey/

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