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Re: bf rewrite?

Anthony Towns wrote:
> I'd like it if people could make woody boot-floppies, say, once a month
> while we're developing (for all architectures expected to release). If you
> want to also include some new features or whatever and get them tested,
> fine, but mainly it'd be nice to have some evidence that we can still
> build boot-floppies, and we haven't done anything to mean that the potato
> boot-floppies are completely unusable and we *have* to start from scratch.

Sounds reasonable. Maybe not even a huge lot of work until we add stuff
like the 2.4 kernel to woody..

> When debian-installer can be used to install machines of all six released
> architectures (arm, alpha, i386, m68k, powerpc, sparc), you can switch
> to doing monthly uploads of debian-installer. And start completely
> deprecating the old boot-floppies.

We'll probably be doing much more frequent than monthly uploads, long
before that point.

> I also wonder if there might be a better way of handling release notes
> and boot-floppies and base.tgz's and such from a dinstall perspective. In
> particular, I wonder if it would be better for Josip and Adam or whoever
> to simply make a release-notes.deb that they maintain independently
> of boot-floppies and that's easily buildable (since we have a definite
> .tar.gz with Build-Depends). I wonder if it would be workable for us to
> automatically extract the actual release notes from the latest version
> of that .deb and stick them in doc/ or woody/main/{disks,upgrade}-*
> as appropriate.

I think the problem with breaking out the release notes into their own
package is maintly that they refer to some things like kernel versions
that can be hard to automatically determine unless they're built at the
same time as the boot-floppies. Adam and I talked about this the other
day, he seemed to think it might still be doable.

> Similarly for creating the base.tgz, and perhaps actual
> boot-floppies (extracted from /usr/lib/boot-floppies/i386-compat-1440.img
> in the boot-floppies.deb, perhaps).
> This might make it *much* easier for you guys to maintain all this stuff
> (you don't have to get an ftpmaster to install for you, dinstall will just
> handle it by itself; you won't have to have a local mirror to construct
> base.tgz, since dinstall will do that from the actual archive; you won't
> have to worry about base.tgz being out of date), and should make it much
> easier for the ftpmasters to deal with boot-floppies (the only things
> that need to be changed by hand are which packages make up base.tgz).

Automatically constricuting base.tgz sounds like fun, but have you ever
looked at the horrendous hacks that are done to make it now?

As for the rest, the new installer will consist of a bunch of debs -- we
already decided this. Building the actual install media will be a side 
process and hopefully as simple as possible (essentually it should consist
of generating a loopback filesystem, and unpacking about 3 debs onto it).

see shy jo

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