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Re: Reality check! [was: Re: Debian goes big business?]

ezanardi@ull.es (Enrique Zanardi) writes:

> On Sun, Jan 24, 1999 at 01:32:28PM -0700, John Lapeyre wrote:
> > 
> > 	I guess I should add this to my last post about how bad the
> > installation is.  The boot floppies themselves and apt are quite good.
> > Getting the base system on is easy for someone who knows what is going on.
> > Probably not for a beginner.
> Suggestions for making the boot-floppies beginner-friendly are welcome
> (but read the todo list first). Of course, code is even more welcome.
Sorry, i currently don't have any access to the sources of the boot
floppies and therefore don't know about the TODO list's contents.  But
i downloaded the boot and base floppies and did a base install with
them.  Strange enough the yes/no answering at the configuration stage
right after the first booting from the freshly installed base system
didn't work.  The default [Y/n] was simply ignored when hitting the
return key and likewise when i pressed [n] when the default was rather
[Y] and sometimes vice versa.  I'll check it out in more detail later.

What i miss after the base install is:

  - a default entry with the correct block device as used for the
    installation for accessing the CD drive in /etc/fstab like:

         /dev/hdc  /cdrom  iso9660  ro,noauto,user 0   0

  - likewise a default entry with the correct block device as used for
    the installation for accessing the floppy drive in /etc/fstab
    (possibly commented out and hinting at the mtools)

There is no logic behind easily using these devices upon installation
and when you are booting up your newly installed system the easy
access is simply gone.  I find it slightly irritating to have to
bother about editing fstab for including the proper entries although
this could have been automagically inserted upon base install even for
the experienced sysadmin's convenience.  This is a small detail which
could be very convenient for newbies as well BTW.

The preselection "profiles/Admin" contains *three* Emacs variants
(emacs19/20 and xemacs20). The same case in "profiles/Devel_comp",
"profiles/Devel_std", "profiles/Dialup", "profiles/Work_sci",
"profiles/Work_std" and "profiles/Standard" contains both emacs19/20.
That's somewhat pretty insane IMHO because usually one single emacs
(preferably the smallest and fastest) should definitely suffice
leaving all other variants as an option for later installation to the
installer's discretion.  Likewise for the vi variations.  Which emacs
or vi to use is a matter of personal choice of the installer.  

I think it is a very bad habit to first fill up the disk with
redundant selections and then expect the installer to deinstalll what
[s]he doesn't like/want in order to make room for other software.  And
BTW not everybody has a 1GB or more harddisk or even a pentium
machine, but possibly far less capable hardware.  The wealth of
software coming with Debian doesn't mean that everything and the
kitchen sink should be installed.

I think the preselections could generally be thinned out quite a lot.
What i'd like to see is something like "profiles/Textprocessing" for
the writing people containing the TeX system and text/PostScript
related utilities.  In any case i'll try to make up such a selection
and send it to you ASAP.
                          Thanks for your work, P. *8^)

PS: As an exception i CC'ed you.  Please choose for yourself whether
    you'd like to reply via the list or privately.
   --------- Paul Seelig <pseelig@goofy.zdv.uni-mainz.de> -----------
   African Music Archive - Institute for Ethnology and Africa Studies
   Johannes Gutenberg-University   -  Forum 6  -  55099 Mainz/Germany
   ------------------- http://ntama.uni-mainz.de --------------------

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