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Bug#439267: Post-install sources.list should contain commented-out generic URIs

tags 439267 - patch

On Wednesday 27 February 2008, Chris Lamb wrote:
> Agreed. I've attached a patch that does this.

This is a nice patch for discussion, but IMO it does not have the quality we 
normally strife for in the installer.
For one thing, there is absolutely no check that the mirror even exists or 
that it supports the architecture being installed.

The right way to do this would be to use the info already available in 
choose-mirror and _test_ that the mirror supports the arch/suite.
That should give an acceptable default at least for those countries that 
have a mirror list. I don't really have a solution for other countries, 
except for actually asking what country they'd prefer.

Alternatively, we could /maybe/ do something using the global mirror aliases 
that have recently been discussed on debian-devel (threads "Automatic 
mirror selection" and "Debian mirror CDN had launched").

Hmm. The second could possibly solve the first: do a request on a global 
mirror for "nearby" mirrors and test those to get a solution.

Downside of this all is that you _would_ IMO need to test the mirror and 
possibly that is exactly what the user wanted to avoid in the first place 
(because of no network for example).
If you don't want to test, the defaults really should be totally generic 
(i.e. _not_ have a specific country code at all, maybe just literally
'ftp.xx.d.o') and have a lot more explanation instead.

> I can see two problems with it, however:
>  0. Arbitrary "gb -> uk"-like mappings may get crufty over time.

Also: that list is bound to be incomplete and a pain to maintain.

>  1. Derivative distributions are kinda forced to have ".debian.org" in
> the hostname.

Which is not acceptable, but could be solved with a better implementation.


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