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Re: Non-interactive install proposal

>>"Drake" == Drake Diedrich <Drake.Diedrich@anu.edu.au> writes:

 Drake> On Tue, Jun 02, 1998 at 09:48:46PM -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
 >> What is the benefit of keeping packages in an unconfigured
 >> state?

 Drake>    It's a reminder to me that I need to configure this package still.

	I prefer the approach to ask questions first, and configure as
 it installs. If we are spending time to do this, we should do this

 >> This shall certainly play havoc with large scale upgrades,
 >> when latter packages require earlier packages to be configured.

 Drake> No worse than the current situation.  There aren't that many
 Drake> Predepends at the moment.  For instance, I unpack mesa

	[anecdotal script of a deconfigured package still working deleted]

	Yes, it is. I prefer not to have sendmail,. bind, and NFS be
 deconfigured and non working until I configure them (after hours of
 download and install)

	There are no guarantees that an unconfigured package shall not
 prevent dependent packages from configuring or working right.

 >> Why is the prospect of asking the questions a priori or an
 >> interactive configuraion supposedly so vastly inferior? 

 Drake>    It's mostly a question of when they get asked.  At the moment, all
 Drake> packages are configured at once.  During a major upgrade, 90%
 Drake> of packages configure without human intervention.  The
 Drake> remaining 10% are scattered among them, resulting in about 90%
 Drake> wasted time waiting for prompts.  Emacs and TeX in particular
 Drake> take a considerable amount of time to configure, but don't
 Drake> usually ask questions.

	Then this is what we fix. We don't make half baked attempts to
 do non interactive installs. We fix the correct problem, namely, do
 not ask questions in the middle of the installation.

 Drake> Yes, last night.  I'd have gone home an hour earlier if I
 Drake> could have left the questioning packages in an unconfigured
 Drake> state.

	Maybe you have the luxury of having a box be unconfigured and
 non working when you go home. A lot of us are not so lucky. We
 prefer answering the questions first, and then starting the upgrade.
 barring bugs, the machine down time is minimized.

 Drake> For a compute farm, I'd definitely prefer to eliminate as many
 Drake> questions as possible, but when a question does arise, I'm
 Drake> probably doing a non-interactive install anyway (in an
 Drake> iconified window or something), and would rather it continue
 Drake> with easier packages and ask me again later.

	For a compute farm, I would prefer answering the questions
 ONCE, and then replicate the config database. As I said, let us solve
 the real issues, not apply band aids.


 The notion that science does not concern itself with first causes --
 that it leaves the field to theology or metaphysics, and confines
 itself to mere effects -- this notion has no support in the plain
 facts.  If it could, science would explain the origin of life on
 earth at once--and there is every reason to believe that it will do
 so on some not too remote tomorrow. To argue that gaps in knowledge
 which will confront the seeker must be filled, not by patient
 inquiry, but by intuition or revelation, is simply to give ignorance
 a gratuitous and preposterous dignity.... Mencken, 1930
Manoj Srivastava  <srivasta@acm.org> <http://www.datasync.com/%7Esrivasta/>
Key C7261095 fingerprint = CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05  CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E

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