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

On Wednesday 27 January 1999, at 14 h 40, the keyboard of Paul Seelig 
<pseelig@mail.uni-mainz.de> wrote:

> 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.  

You can get the last version by CVS:


> 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. 

This bug has been reported #32324 and fixed since.

> 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

A small possible problem: it conflicts with the default access method for 
dselect, multi_cd, which does not expect the CD to be already mounted (even 
with "noauto", this is a risk). So, it would require a reorganization. But the 
/dev/cdrom link is there and is more important, IMHO. It allows multi_cd to go 
on smoothly.
> 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

Well, I'll suggest that for potato. It will start a nice flame-war on 
debian-devel "emacs vs. xemacs".

> 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.  

This contradicts the whole idea of profiles. A profile is a predefined set of 
choices that *we* think OK and the installer which chooses a profile trusts us 
blindly. I regard the Average User as unable to choose between emacs and 
xemacs at the beginning (or between exim and sendmail or between apache and 
roxen). So, we choose for him.

> 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.  

This is a typical example of the main problem with the "Let's make everything 
easier for Joe User" approach: nobody agrees on what is easier.

For me, I think that most users expect things to be already there ("I've read 
in an Unix manual about tcpdump and Debian hasn't it. This distribution is 
broken.") without a new installation, which will certainly be painful for the 
typical user.

> 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.

Most of the messages I received, as the maintainer of the list of pre-defined 
profiles are "XXX is missing, why don't you add it?".

> 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.

Be my guest.

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