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Re: bf rewrite?

> We wanted to freeze potato last year but had no working boot-floppies
> handy.  Only very few people have worked on it.
> Since then development was very slow, people dropped away, Enrique,
> Erik.  Left over are only a couple of people who contribute code.

Actually, the cvs log shows a lot of work going into dbootstrap (and
other parts of the system). For example, things like DHCP support, HTTP
installs, better I18N and powerpc/arm support were all major
enhancements added to dbootstrap in the past few months. base-config,
the task selection system and a X Window configuration helper system
were added. Support for TFTP installs on Sparc, and installs from
ZIP/LS120 media were also added to the boot-floppies in the recent past.
(not to mention the amount of documentation that has been created and
revised for potato...) I don't think it's fair to characterize this as 
"very slow" development.

On the other hand, it's true that a lot of the installation system
remains kludgy and not as nice as, say, RedHat's Quickstart, in certain
ways. There are many limitations in the current system that can be
changed to make an IMHO better system:

- there is no reason we need a 20+meg tarball to bootstrap the system.
  base2_2.tgz should go, or at least become much smaller
- we need ways to do (at least semi-)automated installs, or at least
  installs that require less response from the user
- we should probably go to an initrd-type kernel system so that we don't
  need so many root/driver disks

A lot of these require fundamental changes to the way the current system

If someone wants to spend time continuing to maintain the current system
I think that will be very useful. But at some point we do need to do a
clean design if we want to improve one of the most-criticized components
of Debian.

my 2 cents,
Debian Developer <tausq@debian.org>

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