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Bits from the CD team: plans for debian-cd v3.0

At Debconf we've had a couple of very good discussion sessions about
changes that are wanted/needed in debian-cd. Firstly we had several
members of the debian-cd team thrash out what we wanted to do for the
next version, then a second chat with some more of the debian-cd users
to see what they would like us to do for them. I came to Debconf with
some ideas of my own for discussion, and several of these other people
have thrown extra things into the pot. Here's a summary of what we
came up with; I'll follow up to debian-cd with more details. Please
follow up there if you have comments or would like to get involved.

  1. Re-structuring of the code - most people agree the current code is
     messy, and needs refactoring/cleaning up

  2. Improve task/package list handling - the current methods are
     messy and need cleaning up and simplifying
  3. Dependencies - debian-cd needs better checking of dependencies to
     make it harder to create broken builds. Probably a mixture of
     pure deps and run-time checks will be used. Mkisofs-jte and
     associated patches _will_ go in soon.

  4. Moving from CVS - many people are getting unhappy with cvs
     limitations; discussion says that svn/svk is favourite

  5. More intelligence in debian-cd - too many bits of the CD build
     don't know for definite what the target disc type is, and this is
     silly. CDs and DVDs have different requirements, for example.

  6. Improve layout code - fill CD trees directly rather than guessing
     sizes using apt. Also a _really_ _really_ fast CD layout tool for
     creating jigdo files rather than ISO images.

  7. Easier creation of variant CDs - the new layout code should also
     allow us to do some useful variations on the CD layouts, like
     multi-arch, combined binary/source. Even CDs/DVDs that will boot
     and install on multiple arches.

  8. Running without a local mirror - a long-standing bugbear of
     debian-cd use has been the requirement to have a local mirror for
     building. This needs to go away - many users don't have the disk
     space / bandwidth...

  9. Are business card ISOs actually useful? "Testing" versions of the
     bc images are very fragile due to deps on exact versions of
     packages during installation. Unless there are lots of users, we
     may drop them.

 10. Signed Release files - we need a way to generate signed Release
     files on CDs, or to make apt happy with _all_ CDs (which is
     probably dangerous).

 11. CD errata support - a suggestion raised after the failure of the
     first sarge CD build. After initial install, a new system would
     (after asking the user) check in a known location on the Debian
     web site for any known errata for that CD build.

[ Note Reply-To: debian-cd@lists.debian.org ]

Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
You raise the blade, you make the change... You re-arrange me 'til I'm sane...

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