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Re: installing potato

> Date:    Fri, 04 Feb 2000 11:25:57 +0100
> To:      debian-devel@lists.debian.org
> From:    "Matus \"fantomas\" Uhlar" <uhlar@fantomas.sk>
> Subject: Re: installing potato
> -> > when I try to install base system from disk, i define complete path to giv
> en
> -> > files, I think that devices.tgz and base2_2.tgz don't need to be in
> -> > subdirectories like dists/potato/main/disks-i386/etc
> -> 
> -> There are organizational reasons for that. However, a link to the latest
> -> disk set might be a good idea, and maybe that should be a link to a farm
> -> of links named for architectures to the current disk sets.
> -> 
> -> So maybe under debian/dists/potato, there should be a link called "install"
> -> pointing to a dir containing "i386", "alpha", "m68k", "mips", etc that link
> -> to main/disks-<arch>/current.
> I meaned they don't need to be in such hierarchy on my disk. see below.

They don't have to any more; the place it fetches them from can be edited
in potato. This was not true for slink. Did you notice the place where it
fetches them from is editable? (well, it is at least for the "fetch from net"

> -> > i defined full path to subdirectory where following 
> -> > and the installation stopped cause it didn't find those dirs... don't you
> -> > think that sux ?
> -> 
> -> Yes, I do. In my opinion, the person installing should be able to
> -> browse the archive. Maybe everything isn't at /debian, maybe it's at 
> -> /pub/linux/distributions/debian (as it is on many mirrors; let me 
> -> browse to find it if it's not an official mirror.
> Maybe the easiest would be check if those files aren't already in defined
> directory and if not, then try to follow the hierarchy. It would help to ppl
> who download all needed files (drivers, base system) to one directory and
> then try to install from it.

That won't work for part of the situation I'm describing: if the distribution
is not in /debian and is instead in some heirarchy inside, there is no way
at all you can predict where an ftp admin will put the debian dist.

Once the person installing has -found- it, and has let the install program 
to look in that place, that's where the install program should actually 
-look- to see what is there instead of -assuming- or guessing that things
will be in some particular place. 

This is sometimes worse than useless because the assumption is made that
the person installing knows automatically where things are: after all, 
debian gurus do. Said gurus can possibly forget what kind of information
the person installing would or would not have. This assumption is especially
damaging for the new installer who has no clue where anything is.

The way things are now, a short suggestion is made as to where one might
possibly find an archive, and in the particular case of dselect's con-
figuration of apt's sources.list, it continually forgets what the user
typed in before. This behavior is worse than just editing the config:
at least the sources.list file remembers its own content. So editing
said config file becomes not only a viable option (and always is for
any config) but also the -best- option whether for an advanced or new
user. In general, if the install process already knows something, it
should not require a repetition of input for that info from the person
installing. You can generalize this statement by replacing "install
process" with "any program" and "person installing" with "user".

So the installer should read the dirs that really exist, and then fork 
over the actual, current, existing choices to the person installing. 
Let us choose what really exists, not from among several guesses which
eventually become dated.

> -> > also, when i choose "mount a previously initialized partition" it doesn't
> -> > fsck... 
> -> 
> -> Maybe it should ask and then do so if you say yes.
> asking is useless, fsck of filesystem is very fast if the filesystem was
> last unmounted correctly. just fsck before mounting.

OK, I see. I think you're right.


Jim Lynch       Finger for pgp key
as Laney College CIS admin:  jim@laney.edu   http://www.laney.edu/~jim/
as Debian developer:         jwl@debian.org  http://www.debian.org/~jwl/

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