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Re: PROPOSAL: automatic installation and configuration

> > Whichever automatic installation system we decide to introduce in Debian,
> > a reorganization (more or less substantial) will be absolutely mandatory.
> > 
> > The current configuration method is totally incompatible with an automatic
> > installation system, and the best installation tool we could design would be
> > totally useless unless *ALL* packages have been made compatible with it.
> I think I understand what you mean by that and agree with it.
> I did some more thinking about the proposed system and noticed that
> even, for instance, it is used with an X11 interface to pop-up a
> window for each question individually, it can get quite annoying to
> the user.
> Another option to do this without needing a major reorg might be to
> instruct script writers to concentrate ALL the questions as early as
> possible in the script, hopefully in one large chunk.  That way it
> might be easier to replace the entire chunk of questions with some
> database-access command (or consolidate the questions in a single GUI
> window).
> > If we design a general enough dpkg-getconfig/dpkg-message API we could later
> > replace the initial tool with a much more sophisticated one, possibly using
> > a totally different user interface or method for handling the configurations.
> Right.
> Cheers,
> --Amos
> --Amos Shapira                  | "Of course Australia was marked for
>                                 |  glory, for its people had been chosen
> amos@gezernet.co.il             |  by the finest judges in England."
>                                 |                         -- Anonymous

>From the user perspective the proposed solution is not different from the
current installation method. The only difference is that it would use a
dialog interface by default, if available, but this can be easily disabled
by the user, making the question appearance identical to the current one.

I agree with you that many pop-ups could be annoying to the user but this is
a limitation of the various dialog programs. We need an user interface which
could display forms with many fields but at the moment I haven't found one
and can't ever write it. Consider also that often a question is conditioned
by a previous answer, so it must be serialized.

We could group questions inside a begin-end block that, when a form-capable
dialog will be available, would present all the questions in one single
form, but this is beyond the scope of my proposal. If we decide that this
is important we could provide dummy begin/end commands which will be
implemented later.

Massimo Dal Zotto

|  Massimo Dal Zotto               email: dz@cs.unitn.it               |
|  Via Marconi, 141                phone: ++39-0461534251              |
|  38057 Pergine Valsugana (TN)      www: http://www.cs.unitn.it/~dz/  |
|  Italy                             pgp: finger dz@tango.cs.unitn.it  |

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