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[NEWS] status of boot-flopppies

We'll, we've mostly completed shoring up the internals of
boot-floppies.  At this point, most of the changes since 2.2.1 have
been coping with these internal updates rather than specifically
working on the bugs list and/or the major todo items.

However, all the major tasks are assigned, and to capable people.  I'm
sure they can use help, but it looks good for trying to be feature
complete in early December (depending on lots of external factors
outside our control).

I will probably soon release a 2.2.2 version of boot floppies, but
people looking for significant visible changes since 2.2.1 might be

I'm putting out a call to the QA and Testing groups to take advantage
of this "pre-freeze" time to do thorough testing on pure base systems.
No one really runs base-only systems, and as a result, it is riddled
with problems (i.e., undeclared and unconsidered dependancies).

Right now my major concern is with dbootstrap itself.  There are a lot
of things which need to be done with it, mostly ergonomic
improvements, although also a lot of work having it cope with
hardware, boot devices, etc.  See the attached todo.

We have about 4 or 5 people now actively hacking, but we can always
use more...

I'm including below our current todo list...

.....Adam Di Carlo....adam@onShore.com.....<URL:http://www.onShore.com/>

ToDo List for the Boot Floppies Package


- [11/18/1999, aph] backspace not working properly in tty2

- [11/18/1999, aph] dbootstrap should have a generic way it runs 'system',
  redirecting output to tty3 (although we need to be serial-console safe),
  and logging what it's doing to tty3 as well.

- [09/15/1999, aph] apt-get sources.list configurator
  debconf now includes this.  We need to hook into the configurator
  from the post-installation tasks.  Debconf has to get into base,
  STATUS: Joey Hess has a working debconf version of this.  We are
          waiting for a new perl-base so debconf can go into base.
          Testers/hackers on this are probably requested -- contact joeyh

- [09/15/1999, aph] Write a replacement task selector system using new
  task "metapackage" system from "Martin Bialasinski"
  <martin@internet-treff.uni-koeln.de>.  Task packages are any packge
  starting with the string 'task-*' and likewise with profiles.
  STATUS: Randolph Chung is working on this one.  Expects a
          version before thanksgiving.
- [10/30/1998, ezanard] Implement an "install base system from a
  HTTP server" option.  Perhaps also FTP and TFTP, perhaps 
  integration with dhcp etc below.  'snarf' looks like a good 
  candidate' -- it goes on root.bin, so it has to be small.
  STATUS: Sean 'Shaleh' Perry has accepted this task.  

- [10/20/1998, wichert] BOOTP and DHCP support (Bug#48088, probably others)
  STATUS: Sean 'Shaleh' Perry has accepted this task.  

- [10/30/1998, joey] The user should only be queried once for the
  cd-rom path if the path that was provided at the first place
  matches the need at the second place, too. Ditto for other media.
  Is the /dev/cdrom link created now?

- [11/20/1998, ezanard] PLIP support

- [10/30/1998, ezanard, joey] Modify on boxes.c so that the dialog
  boxes resize themselves.  As the messages have different lenghts
  for the different translations, this is a must-have for the
  translated floppies. Also take care of the current screen size
  (start linux with vga=ask and use 132x44 for example).
  (PARTIALLY DONE on boot-floppies_2.1.1. It still assumes a 80x25
  screen size).
  QUERY: still critical?

- [10/30/1998, ezanard] Implement an "install on a loop filesystem"
  option. UPDATE 01/10/1999: dbootstrap recognizes a mounted loop fs, and
  we can use it as the target filesystem. Support for swap files,
  creating/mounting loop filesystems from the UI, and creating/modifying
  initramdisk from the UI is still missing.

- [10/30/1998, ezanard] Read more data from the boot prompt
  (keyboard language, source medium, network config, ... eventually
  everything may be provided from the boot prompt. That makes an
  unattended installation trivial, one just write the proper
  syslinux.cfg file and there it goes...)
  UPDATE: The boot command line is limited to 256 bytes. We'll have to
  use a config file instead.

- [10/30/1998, joey] Provide easy targets for boot floppies in
  non-english languages.  Currently 'es' is ready, 'de' is on the

- [03/06/1999, ezanard] Add a "wizard-like" tool for disk

- [05/09/1999, joey] Provide 2nd SCSI CD-ROM as well when prompting
  for various CD-ROM drives.

- [04/27/1998, wichert] The search for the base system should be
  smarter.  When using an NFS mounted directory, it takes several
  minutes to find it.  It will even display base systems for m68k,
  powerpc, alpha etc.  The goal is to a) use the <architecture> which
  is hardcoded and b) use a more specific search path if possible,
  e.g. after `/debian' `/dists/{stable,frozen,unstable}/main/disks-<arch>'
  and `/local'. (Bug#2177)

- [10/30/1998, joey] Provide a debug program for each and every
  dialog box - can also be used to provide screen shots of the
  installation.  This includes some fiddling with internal
  settings. (long term todo) (PARTIALLY DONE on boot-floppies_2.1.1.
  There are some debug programs missing. Check
  utilities/dbootstrap/Makefile for the details)

- [11/18/1998, ezanard] Extract the config steps (kbdconfig, tzconfig,
  netconfig, pcmcia-config, ...) into stand-alone tools. Move them to
  the proper packages (kbdconfig -> kbd, tzconfig -> timezones, ...)
  or create new packages for them, so that they are available anytime,
  not only at installation time.

- [11/17/1998, kop] support for zip and ls-120 medias

- [11/17/1998, kop] graphical setup with framebuffer / X11
  The new framebuffer concept from linux-2.2 does not support
  only X11, with the ggi-lib it is also possible to have
  'svgalib'-compatibility on all architectures

- [12/2/1998, ezanard] modconf is a shell script that uses sed in many
  places. If we rewrite it to remove that dependency, we may remove sed
  from the rootdisk, freeing 40KB. Update: sed is not on the rootdisk,
  but on the drivers floppy, inside modconf.tgz.

- [01/10/1999, ezanard] Remove liloconfig code from dbootstrap. Jast call
  the new "liloconfig" script on the LILO package (Run it from the base
  system. "chrooted" perhaps?).

- [02/19/1999, ezanard] Add Tom Lees' PnP support.

- [02/19/1999, ezanard] (following a suggestion by Vincent Renardias).
  The "fsresize" package can be used to defragment and resize FAT
  partitions. What about using that on the boot-floppies?

[1] If you want to translate the system into another language, read the
    README-Translators file. If you still has doubts, ask on
    debian-boot@lists.debian.org, or get in touch with err... Hartmut
    Koptein (hee hee) or me (Martin Schulze). I would prefer Hartmut while
    I'm sure that he would prefer to contact me... You chose.

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