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Re: MSDOS name conversion

>> Yes, I could change dftp, but I don't see why it is necessary to
>> split the packages in the standard tree.  If somebody is able to go
>It saves disk space and (perhaps) makes for more reliable ftp

You mean, it saves disk space over splitting in just the msdos directory.
I don't suggest that.  Splitting in general actually wastes a tiny amount
of disk space because more files are generated and each file has some
amount of overhead.

It doesn't make FTP more reliable, it just makes it faster to recover.
If the file is damaged during transit, then the user still has to
re-fetch all pieces because the MD5 checksum won't narrow down exactly
which file is corrupt (unless you apply MD5 to every file instead of
the package as a whole).

>> through all the steps necessary to create the original base disks,
>> they can easiy run "split" on their packages.
>They could but wouldn't installation be easier if they didn't have to?

Yes, it would... slightly.  The question is whether you want to make
the distribution slightly more confusing to the general everyday user
in order to make installation slightly easier for the first-time
installer, _once_.

>> How about plain old readability and useability?  Debian is already
>> full of files!  I'd rather this was not increased needlessly.
>I don't think this is a legitimate concern.  I guess when you say
>"Debian", you mean the ftp site.  Increasing the number of files there
>is no big deal.  It doesn't affect the users' machines except at
>installation time (and then transparently).

By "Debian", I mean the distribution in any form.  Not splitting the
files "doesn't affect the users' machines except at installation time".
If a user is going to go through the trouble to copy all those packages
to floppy, then they can go through the trouble to split them first.

In fact, with a little extra work, you could write a "split" program
that would split files so that every disk was _completely_ full, thus
making things _easier_ on the installer than if they were pre-split.

>> Having multiple files per package will just be confusing to anyone
>> accessing the ftp site directly.
>Not if the files are properly named.

Having additional files will not make it clearer.  Having additional
files will not keep things the same.  Therefore, having additional
files _must_ be more confusing.  No matter how well you name the
files, it _will_ be less intuitive to some degree.

>> I don't see the point in punishing the general user just so someone
>> can occasionally load packages onto a floppy disk.
>Punishing???  :-)))  This is a little dramatic, don't you think?

Probably, but what would you call it?  It's not a reward.

>> My suggestion: Include a "split" program in the msdos archive and a
>> README about how to use it.
>This would work but it makes life more complicated for the user.  They
>have find the tool and then figure out how to use it.  If the files
>are split for them already, they just proceed normally.

Done properly, it would actually make things easier for the user.  Split
files are just that many more files the user has to copy to floppy.  In
fact, if the user is to use as few disks as possible, it will be a real
pain to match the pieces in the best way possible. 

A good "split" program could scan the directory to find all .deb files
and split them optimally across disks to fully fill each one.

(This is almost as bad as "vi" versus "emacs"!  <laugh>)

                                 ( bcwhite@bnr.ca )

    In theory, theory and practice are the same.  In practice, they're not.

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