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Debian installer and CD BoF: my views for jessie


since Steve asked me whether I had some stuff to share for the upcoming
Debian installer and CD BoF at DebConf, here are a few things dug from
my d-i todo list (without any kind of prioritization). In brackets, the
status/impact for jessie.

Since it's almost 6am locally, I hope you won't hate me for the missing
references to bug reports / mailing list posts for most entries.

 * Fix missing firmware support: I've contacted Ben about that topic and
   should be able to handle that by myself over the next few days/weeks,
   depending on how work and related meetings turn out for me.
   [ Needed ]

 * Graphical install by default (amd64/i386): I think nobody NACKed this
   move (quite the contrary), but that means a major overhaul of boot
   menus for some images (especially the multi-arch netinst one), which
   is being discussed. Didier proposed using some syslinux features to
   make new menus as great as possible. (Mostly: fewer, to-the-point
   [ Wanted ]

 * Switch cdebconf gtk frontend to gtk3: Over the last few months the
   gtk3 udeb situation got much better (they're installable now, last I
   checked). I had a proof of concept (and a git branch) ready a while
   ago, but it seems late to work on finishing that for jessie; doesn't
   seem like it's needed at all anyway; this would have an impact on the
   next point anyway.
   [ Postponed ]

 * Artwork: I poked Paul and the desktop team some days ago; work seems
   to be happening, and packages should be updated “soon” to get updated
   [ Needed ]

 * Secure boot: nothing moved for a while but it seems some folks at
   DebConf were interested in helping.
   [ To be determined. Not a blocker at first glance. ]

 * Architecture support: my own, limited testing made me discover how
   badly broken d-i on GNU/kFreeBSD was, and I shared my concerns some
   days ago with BSD people and the release team. I haven't seen anyone
   commit to fixing d-i there and making sure it's kept in a good shape.
   [ To be determined, needs release team input at least. ]

 * Architecture support (bis): I'm not sure arm64 and ppc64el will be in
   a releasable shape (distribution wide) for jessie, but since we have
   very active porters, and since large parts are re-used from arm* and
   powerpc, it's likely that d-i support won't be an issue here. Some
   backporting might be needed on the kernel side, but I expect porters
   to do that kind of work as appropriate.
   [ To be determined ]

 * Regular releases: I'd like to avoid piling up stuff for too long
   between two releases. I'm not entirely convinced doing something
   time-based can work since we're sometimes depending on the kernel's
   state, or on a specific bug fix/package, or even on a library
   transition. But the delay between two beta/rc releases should go down
   to something like 1-2 months at most now (provided Steve is available
   on the debian-cd side of course). If I can anticipate release dates,
   I'll try and go back to announcing them (I think I did that for
   Wheezy Betas, when we were under freeze), along with possible udeb
   freezes (which was done for Jessie Beta 1).
   [ Very much wanted ]

 * Incoming bug handling: since we're reaching the end of the release
   cycle, and since betas are likely to get released more or less
   regularly, it'd be nice if we could find some people happy to deal
   with incoming bug reports, especially installation reports. Swift
   replies are likely the only way to keep (some) people interested in
   getting Debian installed on their machines/fixed so that it works
   better next time. Of course, regular BTS clean-up is always
   appreciated, but new bug reports should (IMHO) take precedence.
   [ Very much wanted, volunteers needed ]

 * Default desktop: I've already mentioned in [1,2] why I think we
   should go back to Gnome as default. The sooner the better, so that we
   get more exposure; and so that we fix regressions on the accessibility
   side, as soon as possible. See [3] for an example.
    1. https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/08/msg00130.html
    2. https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/08/msg00466.html
    3. https://lists.debian.org/debian-accessibility/2014/08/msg00080.html
   [ Needed ]

 * Desktop choice: to avoid having to select/think about having to
   select a non-default desktop at boot time (which really isn't the
   place!) it was mentioned a while ago we could present a list of
   available+installable desktops after “Desktop environment” has been
   selected. This might also mitigate the concerns people might have
   about the default desktop. On the other hand, that means an extra
   prompt. And possibly more i18n/l10n material. But it seems to me that
   such a compromise might appease things a lot while not being an extra
   burden on the long run. I didn't work on that yet though; and while I
   initially thought it would be nice to have at the same time as we
   switch back to Gnome, I think both things can be done individually.
   [ Wanted ]


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