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Bug#231668: choose-mirror: Please use apt-spy for automatic mirror selection

Package: choose-mirror
Severity: wishlist

Quoting Andree Leidenfrost mail to -boot:

Dear d-i developers

I noticed that you are discussing ways to bring down the number of
configuration screens during the install process. Here's my 2 cents

I would like to propose the use of apt-spy to automatically determine
the fastest source for network installs. This has been discussed on
debian-boot before in July 2001. Maybe the time has finally come... ;-)

The -a option should be used to recycle location information collected
before for the timezone. (I volunteer for the boring task of writing the
mapping table if someone else does the exciting task of specifying the
format. ;-) e.g. timezone: Australia -> apt-spy: Oceania.)

apt-spy appears to be in good shape, no bugs, only wishlist items. I use
it, and it works well.

Install methods 'http' and 'ftp' should then be consolidated into one
install method 'Internet' (apt-spy will notice if one or the other is
not available, e.g. firewall), bringing the number of choices to be made
down by one. Choices under the former installation methods 'ftp' and
'http' would be obsolete in the first place.

I've done some testing to figure out how long it would take. I've used
apt-spy -a Oceania -t [15s (default), 10s, 5s] with pretty much
identical outcome, so 5s is probably fine. Here are the results:

-t 15: 6:35 minutes
-t 10: 3:45 minutes
-t 05: 2:00 minutes

Note that this could go down if apt-spy's areas would match the timezone
areas. Note also that this was measured via cable modem. However, as it
is _time_ based, I would assume it to be pretty much the same for analog

Best regards

PS: Please, cc me in replies as I'm not currently on the list.
Andree Leidenfrost
Sydney - Australia

-- System Information:
Debian Release: testing/unstable
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (500, 'unstable'), (500, 'testing'), (400, 'experimental')
Architecture: i386 (i686)
Kernel: Linux 2.6.1
Locale: LANG=fr_FR.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=fr_FR.UTF-8 (ignored: LC_ALL set to fr_FR.UTF-8)

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