zen and debconf
Hi, im just checking out web browsers and stumbled across zen, i really
like and think it may come in handy for a project im involved with.
I saw a reference to debian on your website so you probably know what
debconf is, my favourite project at the moment is the debian installer,
we are in the process of totally redesigning it to be.
The installer will most likely revolve around a program called debconf
that configures debian packages. The user interface is in a very
delicate position, we have to support people installing over serial
lines, from a regular console, and from frambuffer devices (non i386
architectures mostly), maybe even X (whishlist). It has to be small to
start with as we hope to get the installer started from one (or two)
floppies. Once the installer is started we can fetch other modules as
needed, so space is less of an issue.
There have been a number of graphics libraries considered including
slang (we avoid ncurses), a framebuffer library such as microwindows,
and just plain text, but most likely we would need multiple user
interfaces that a user could choose from.
Debconfig also needs a backend to store its data which we would write,
it may just be simple text files, or use something such as db2.
A couple of hours ago it hit me, we shouldnt be trying to invent the
wheel, we can use a web browser as the defualt user interface and a web
server as the backend (e.g. the kernel web server). Using html should
have a number of advantages in the tools available to use such as web
servers, proxies, remote backends, remote UI, debconf package scripts
developed as html.
Zen looks like it could be exactly what we would need, however i do have
a question on frambuffer support (ofbis).
1) I couldnt get the ofbis framebuffer interface workinging straight
away. It didnt compile by default, then when i went into the ./ui/ofbis/
dir and tried to make it there it couldnt find ofbis.h, is ofbis
interface usable yet ?
2) We will be using a 2.4 kernel, and we want to support old video
cards, so we would like to be able to use 16 colour (4-bit) framebuffer
modes. Could zen work down to 16 bit colour framebuffer, if not would it
be difficult to do?
(it seems like a good idea to me now, hope i havente overlooked