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Re: "Official CD" screwups (Was: Why only one non-free section?)

On Tue, Sep 15, 1998 at 09:54:12AM -0700, Darren Benham wrote:
> > Infomagic, Cheapbytes, and LSL have all managed to over the small course of
> > Debian history that I am personally aware of totally SCREW UP the Debian CDs
> > and call them "Official" anyway.  And it's just them that I know about! 
> > This is EXTREMELY frustrating.

> I've used LSL's Bo and Cheapbytes Hamm CDs and had no problems.  When it came
> to dselect and the dist. directories, I just switched to another terminal and
> logged in to look.... 

Thing is, this approach breaks things like autoup.sh with hardcoded paths. 
Cheapbytes did this with hamm, though they may have taken steps by now to
correct it in their next batch of CDs.

Also, do you have any idea how many people DON'T KNOW that you can do
maintenance stuff from inside the ramdisk rescue filesystem with tty2?  Way
too many just don't know.

> > I see a few options at this time, some of them do not solve the problem.
> > 
> >       1. We can ask the vendors to not refer to their CD-ROM distributions
> >          as "official" unless they are direct burns or presses of the
> >          official CD-ROM images available at cdimage.debian.org and
> >          mirrors.

> Distributions or the main CD?  If they bundle a direct burn of the CD-ROM image
> on one CD but then bundle a sunsite archive in with it.. would that ban the use
> of "Official"  I'd be against that.  The other way, I thought that it was
> already policy that Official could only be used on CDs that were a direct burn..

Their distribution of Debian "official" CDs..  If policy says that they must
be direct burns, someone needs to talk to Cheapbytes AND lsl now because
both released sparc and alpha "official" discs and my cheapbytes hamm beta
CD doesn't even have dists/stable as symlinks.  This hit me on the notebook,
for which I actually needed the beta CD because it was all I had.  Their
final disc had the same problem from my understanding.

There's a story behind why I only have the beta, but it's not suitable for
public telling because it really does involve slamming a vendor for
something I probably have no right to do so for.

> >       2. We can leave things as they are now and hope users aren't too
> >          confused by the whole mess and/or the vendors do not make many of
> >          these mistakes they have done with hamm anymore.
> An choice you'd prefer we NOT to take and I have no opinion on.  I could live
> with it or not as the majority decides..

It is nevertheless an option.  Not one I like though, considering above.

> >       3. We can allow the official images or any images made from the
> >          debian-cd package scripts to be called official.  If we do this,
> >          we should create debian-cd .tar.gz archives for non-debian
> >          machines.  If I recall correctly, these scripts are machine
> >          architecture independant (perl or make or something like that, I
> >          haven't looked recently) so we wouldn't have to deal with archs.
> I don't know enough to comment on this... what would it take in real terms?

Taking the contents of the debian-cd .deb, adding a readme file or two in
case it gets downloaded by a pointy hair, and advertising that it's

> >       4. We can ask people to stop using "Official" in connection to
> >          Debian CDs at all.  Only the primary mirrors' contents would be
> >          considered official if we did this.
> I don't think the vendors would like this or that the users who buy the CDs
> would care.  I'm not sure the word "official" means much to them (It
> didn't/doesn't to me) and a broken "unofficial" CD could still be damaging to
> our image if it gets wide circulation like it might with Cheap Bytes, etc.

This is another option I personally believe to be a poor choice.

> >       5. Don't let ANYONE call their image "Official" without sending a
> >          Debian developer CDs to test first.  Would any of the great
> >          hordes of us who aren't Johnnie or some of the others with Debian
> >          mirrors on our hard drives <g> care to volunteer?  I know I
> >          certainly would.
> I heard an argument to this a while back and I thought it was good, from a
> business point of view.  It had to do with the time it would take for a vendor
> to get from RELEASE of the image to the CD on the market and the hoops they'd
> have to jump though.  Evidently, VA stopped offering Debian on either their
> workstations or servers because the install process was not quick/automated
> enough.  I'd imagine having to have each release of the CD Debian-stamped would
> be just such an inconvience... the vendors would either drop Debian or
> drop the word Official and if they're still putting out a large number of CDs
> (minus the word official) that are "broken" Debian's rep can still suffer.

Yes, that is a point.  (One I had considered actually, but I did not want to
add my opinions too much on the options I saw)  Certainly if we did this
we'd want alternative options.  There would be nobody using this because of
the need to ship NOW!

> >       6. Write a specification of what makes a CD image "official" and
> >          what is expected to be on the CDs and where.  On one hand we have
> >          to rely on someone reading this file, but on the other this
> >          allows the vendors to place little blurbs on the CD.  Note there
> >          should also be explanation of what can NOT be on Official CDs,
> >          non-free software for example.  We might point out that it is
> >          acceptable for them to include redistributable non-free packages
> >          on additional CD(s) if they choose to bundle with Official
> >          Debian, or that they can make unofficial/custom dists.
> Of the options, if we decide to do something, I'd like this.  It requires
> little on going work from the rest of the devel-staff.  As long as it's clear,
> the vendors know exactly what to do.  The vendors have minimum time from
> Image-Release to CD-Availability.

This could be done in addition to the debian-cd tarball and it has been
suggested that a check script be made to test the structure before you go
making images..

> >       7. We can find some company who would like to bundle printed
> >          documentation with Debian Official images in a shrinkwrap box and
> >          call that Official.  This would be good, but it would imply that
> >          only this commercial distribution of Debian is official.  That
> >          would clearly be bad as most will agree.
> Since it seems against the Free Software image.. I'd have to agree with you
> that it's a Bad Thing(tm)

I disagree.  It would need to be Company's Official Debian 2.1 (slink) and
could be bundled with something like printed copies of Debian documentation
that pointy hair from the debian-cd thing could use to install debian, use
to package tools, etc.  If this company included a copy of Running Linux
with a brief addendum explaining some of the important things Debian does
differently than other people and why, that would be cool.

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