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Re: Non-interactive install proposal

Andreas Degert <ad@papyrus.hamburg.com> writes:
> Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@datasync.com> 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
> >  right. 

> In general, you can't ask all questions first; you can ask some
> questions, then unpack and debian-configure the packages, but then you
> still have to do a lot of configuration (using an editor or some
> configuration programs that "ask questions").

Why not? If we provide a way for a package to say: I need this
information to configure myself, a program could then take the list of
needed information from all the packages (what dictionary language do
you prefer, what is the timezone, what keymap, do you want a color
xfig, etc.), compare it to an optional database of the information,
and ask the user for the missing information before the install.

More complicated packages that need very interactive configuration,
like X, sendmail, etc. should:

  * Allow the user to provide the configuration file (sendmail.cf, XF86Config)
    ahead of time.
  * If the file doesn't exist, schedule, via some yet to be determined
    mechanism, for the interactive configuration program to be run
    after the install.  (So the "package" xbase would be "configured",
    allowing dependent packages to be installed, but "config_xserver"
    would be in the queue of pending interactive configuration


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