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Future of debian-cd

Hello everyone,

many of you already noticed that debian-cd is a bit complicated.
And it tends to get worse since we keep doing small modifications
everywhere without a global logic.

Thus I think that debian-cd needs to be partially rewritten.

Here are the main critics that I have :
- complicated shell code in Makefile is ugly, it was supposed to
  not need to be modified, and in fact many parts of the Makefile
  were modified for various purposes
- you can't reasonnably build potato cd with current debian-cd because
  of those "infrastructural change" to a CD (inclusion of udeb for
  example) which were not expected at the time of my initial rewrite
  of debian-cd. I still managed to keep most of the compatibility
  but at the cost of more code complexity.
- we have too many imbricated options which do not make sense to many
  of us, it's time to see if we shouldn't get rid of some of them
  (or at least hide them somewhere deeper than CONF.sh)
- the official support of businesscard cd/netinst cd/dvd is not good, most
  people are not able to build such CD with debian-cd because they don't
  know how the magic combination of parameters.
- it's too much of black magick to know the good size parameters to give

In a new design, I would like to have :
- a MEDIA_TYPE input variable that would tell me :
  1 - businesscard CD
  2 - netinst CD
  3 - usual CD
  4 - DVD
  The size would be taken from a default value (if not overriden).
- a system of profile that would describe how to build a particular kind
  of ISO
- a system of profile for debian-installer, so that we can easily
  customize the udebs used by the debian installer

The new design should still reuse most of the existing code, not
everything needs to be thrown. In fact I think that most should be kept
but cleaned from the cruft and reorganized in a different way.

Now, I'd like to hear from you :
- what are your (constructive) critics against debian-cd ?
- what design ideas do you have for a possible rewrite ?
- what do you think of what i've written above ?
- how do you think we should proceed ? should I start from a completely
  new repository and import only what I want to keep ? should we work in
  a branch of the actual repository ?

BTW, as you may have noticed I have less & less time for debian-cd, and
I'd like to have some help in the long term to help me maintain it. With
a (partial) rewrite, it would be the perfect time for someone to step up
and get familiar with the code ...

Raphaël Hertzog -+- http://www.ouaza.com
Formation Linux et logiciel libre : http://www.logidee.com
Earn money with free software: http://www.geniustrader.org

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