suggestions for improvement
A few points struck me during a recent Debian Slink install. Most of
it went smoothly, but there were some wrinkles. These aren't bugs,
just ideas about how things could be done better.
1. I was asked both what my timezone was and whether I wanted a
British or American English dictionary. The default offered was
American, which is wrong for me.
Wouldn't it be nice if it had guessed that the right default for me
was British English, on the basis of my timezone? (Obviously it'd be
wrong to skip the question entirely.)
Similar remarks apply to any other i18n settings that might be
2. A number of programs have colour and mono defaults files. Each
time the postinstall for one of these ran, it asked me whether I'd
prefer the colour or mono version. I suppose it's possible that I'd
want colour for some and mono for others, but it doesn't seem very
likely; my guess is that most users will want all colour or all mono.
It'd save time, therefore, if once you'd answered one of these
questions, the same answer was assumed for the rest.
A similar remark applies to the various dotfile-* packages: each asks
if I want to run a byte-compile step. If it wouldn't make sense to
byte-compile some but not all, then it would be more sensible to ask
the question only once and apply the result to all the packages.
3. A lot of the Emacs packages spend ages byte-compiling various
files during the install. Given that the results might well never be
used this seems rather wasteful. Also it's quite time-consuming, even
on a fast machine; I hate to think what it'd be like on a much slower
Perhaps there's room for some kind of on-demand byte-compilation,
either on a per-user basis or (perhaps more sensibly) via a
userv-based helper program.