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Re: redesigning the debian installer

Dan Helfman wrote:
> Libdetect is modular in terms of detecting different classes of hardware
> (CD drive, sound, ethernet, etc) via separate functions, so it can be
> stripped down for the boot disks quite easily. After just a few of
> minutes of commenting out detect calls, I was able to compile a
> libdetect library that's "only" 46k and includes support for detecting
> cdroms, ethernet, ide, scsi, isa, pci, usb, pcmcia, modems, and serial
> devices. The lib could be further stripped down if necessary.

I was looking at the source and it is modular and seemed quite easy to
read (where are the nasty bits hidden? :-).

I am concerned that it seems it always tries to detect ISA devices too,
and there is no real delination of invasive and noninvasive detection.
It is even possible to call a routine like the isa detection routine
w/o having already probed the ISA bus? Can you just not call isa_detect()
and pass in an empty list to such routines?

This kind of thing (in Programming) does not enjender confidence:

    I recommend to make a sync before all detection operation. Because
    some criticals parts as isa, modem and mouse detection cand freeze
    your system.

> > Also, we have to keep in mind that hardware detection is a two-edged
> > sword. It's great until it probes somewhere it shouldn't and crashes
> > your system. Strictly passive hardware detectors avoid this of course,
> > but they detect less hardware too (no ISA cards, probably).
> Definitely. You might consider merely giving an option to use passive
> detection on ISA cards, and probing all cards by default.

Right, the user should be able to control this -- give them a choice of full
detection, no detection, or just passive detection.

> > Would some interested people like to get together and do some thurough
> > research of the available hardware detection software, and present a
> > report w/reccomendation to this list? Speak up if you're interested.
> I'm interested in this, as I'm fairly familiar with libdetect, having
> packaged it. Let me know who I need to talk to.

Are you on the debian-boot mailing list yet? We'll see who else expresses
an interest.

see shy jo

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