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first weekly debian-installer status report

[ For those folks in debian-devel who don't know, the debian-installer
  project is an effort to write a new Debian installer, with a modular
  package-based design somewhat like Debian itself. Docs at
  http://cvs.debian.org/debian-installer/doc/ ]

What's happened in the past week:

* We decided how the udebs will fit into the main debian archive, and
  support for them has been added to the package pool code.
* Udebs were built for the first time.
* Some hacking on main-menu, almost finishing that module.
* Some hacking on udpkg, it's nearly usable now.
* A lot of development of cdebconf.

Things we need for the "first cut" installer[1], and their status:

	- design [Joey Hess, debian-boot]
		75% done. Enough to know what the big peices are 
		and how they fit together.
	- udeb archive setup [James Troup, Anthony Towns, Jason Gunthorpe]
		95% support in new package pools code. That code will 
		go live soon after Debian 2.2r1 is released.
	- udeb building [Joey Hess, Wichert Akkerman]
		99% done. udebs can be built, but a 2 line patch to 
		dpkg-genchanges is required. A new version of dpkg-dev 
		was promised for last weekend.
        - cdebconf (miniature debconf in C) [Randolph Chung, Anthony Towns]
		In progress. Infrastructure is 70% done. have one working 
		(sick) database backend, have a conceptual text-based 
		frontend that is ~1/4 done.
	- udpkg (tiny dpkg clone) [Randolph Chung, Joey Hess]
		Usable. Can install packages and update the status file, 
		though there is one known bug related to that. Needs to 
		support Pre-Depends and localized descriptions. --unpack 
		and --configure code needs testing.
	- main-menu (main menu generator) [Joey Hess]
		90% done (one non-trivial todo item).
	- busybox integration [Erik Anderson?]
		Not started. Busybox needs to build one or more .udebs. 
		Probably more than one.
	- network card detector [UNCLAIMED]
		Not started. Detect the NIC in a computer by safe autoprobing,
		and by prompting otherwise.
	- network setup [UNCLAIMED]
		Not started. Set up the network, via dhcp or via prompting; 
		implementor decides.
	- retreiver control program [UNCLAIMED]
		Not started. Sort of like apt, except tons dumber, this
		uses retreiver(s) to download Packages files and then udebs,
		and calls udpkg to install them.
	- http retreiver [UNCLAMED]
		Not started. Download udebs, other files from network.
	- install target media detector [UNCLAIMED]
		Not started. Just has to figure out what media to install to.
		Probably trivial; most support already in the kernel.
	- disk partitioner [UNCLAIMED]
		Not started. Some kind of a UI to let the user partition their
		disks and decide what the partitions are used for.
	- disk formatter [UNCLAIMED]
		Not started. Formats disks, turns on swap, etc.
	- base system installer [UNCLAIMED]
		Not started. Installs the base system, probably from base.tgz
		for now, and does any necessary setup.
	- {lilo,grub} installer [UNCLAIMED]
		Not started. Sets up {lilo,grub}.
	- kernel module udebs [UNCLAIMED]
		Not started. We will need various sets of kernel modules;
		one such set is NIC drivers. Each set goes in a udeb; there
		probably has to be a system to build the whole kernel and
	- library reduction [UNCLAIMED]
		Not started. There is code in the boot-floppies that may
		be usable, but this is one of the hardest parts.
	- install media build system [UNCLAIMED]
		Not started. Puts all the peices together and makes
		install media.
	- documentation [UNCLAIMED}
		Not started.

How you can help:

* Aj and Randolph need someone, especially someone who knows curses well,
  to help with cdebconf.
* The 3 impemented programs need testing, especially udpkg.
* The http retreiver and retreiver control program are important 
  infrastructure we need before some other bits can be done sanely.
* Many of the UNCLAIMED items can be started at this point.

How to help:

Subscribe to debian-boot, and mail the list to claim something. Show us
some working code and you will get commit permissions and get your name
on the above list.

see shy jo

[1] "a demonstration system that can install onto some very limited 
    set of machines, in some very limited fashion"

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