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Integrating the debian-installer into the archive

Hello FTP Masters, Release Manger, d-i Team,

at the d-i debcamp in Oldenburg the debian-installer team had a
discussion about how d-i will fit into the archive. Presently we are
just pushing our udebs into unstable where the build processes and the
net-install images fetch from. Images are build by various people for
different architectures and published on gluck.

This mechanism is quite unsatisfactory, because we presently lack two
important features, which are importent to ensure the quality of d-i.

     1. A proper release scheme: We need working testing candidates all
        the time, as well as an mechanism to find a suitable candidate
        for a stable release.
     2. An integration of d-i into the archive: A fixed place where
        users can download autobuilded, official installer images

Since you (FTP Masters, RM) are directly involved in these questions we
would like to discuss possible solutions with you.

1) Release Scheme
During the development process it often happens that some upload makes
the installer totally unsusable. This is a drawback directly resulting
of d-i' grreatest benefit, its modularity. These things will always
happen and can't probably be avoided so we have to find a way to make
them less painful for our testers.

Debian already has a well tested release scheme with the
unstable->testing->stable migration. It would perhaps be a good idea to
let udebs propagate that path the same way the debs do and build
official testing images only from udebs in testing, while the stable
installer fetches from stable and the development version from unstable.
To achieve this, the only thing to be done seems to adjust the testing
scripts to process udebs as well. If this a feasable task, it would be
great if it could be implemented as soon as possible, regarding the
schedule for the sarge release.

2) Archive Integration
We came to the conclusion that regularily autobuilded images, available
through the archive would be the best method to provide d-i to the
users. There were some suggestions of how to actually achieve this:

      * Have a source package that creates images which will be put in a
        special place by the install scripts.
      * Make .debs ot of the images, which will require less adjusting
        of present procedures
      * Make a binary debian package that builds the installer and use
        some totally different autobuilding process

Please comment on these solutions or put some other ideas into the
discussion. If would be nice if we had the infrastructure in place for
the sarge release, if that is not feasable, as soon as possibele.

PGP-Key: http://www.mmweg.rwth-aachen.de/~sebastian.ley/public.key
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