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Re: Open letter to Debian community

At 11:26 PM 30/01/01 -0600, David Starner wrote:
When it becomes impossible to handle. As long as hard drive sizes keep
going up, and DVD burners come available in a reasonable amount of time,
we should be okay for forseeable future.

I find debian with its 3 CDs at least difficult to handle already. When I ask apt-get to install a package I usually get asked for a CD, and it's usually the one I don't have (at least not nearby anyway). I'd copy them to a server but even then it's 3 mounts instead of 1, which in itself is a hassle. Plus it's taking up a bunch of expensive (raid5) disk for packages I'll never need to use.

Which two are those? You're welcome to try and convince the developers
to orphan their packages because those packages are redundant, but I
doubt you'll be successful.

I'm not suggesting anyone orphan anything. Packages would still be maintained, and would be available on the 'extra/supplementary/powertools/etc.' CD(s). I'm not sure if it's possible to advertise these packages without having access to them (ie so user can see that abcfingerd is packaged but that they'll need to get it from elsewhere), but even if we can't we can always suggest that people put a mirror in their sources.list and apt-get update so they can see them. This could be part of the install. Yes some people don't have Internet but they are generally the exception, and the extra CDs would always be available to them.

Which is different from what we do now how? If I understand it right
you can leave out the last CD, or the last 2 CD's of our 3 binary CD's
and still have an internally consistent set, chosen with popularity
in mind.

The difference is that if I go to my local linux store, redhat comes in cheaper, and often a lot cheaper, with 1 CD than debian does with 3 (and one CDR of updates). plus there's more CDs so it must be bigger and more complex so if I were a newbie I'd go for the cheaper, less complex distro. In fact some time ago I did exactly this (although now I'm back, and here to stay this time)

Why would a smaller working set mean higher quality?

surely something with less packages is easier to keep up to date, secure and reliable. if we let the number of packages increase without bound then sooner or later it will be too big to manage. with the increasing popularity of open source and the number of people lined up to add more packages I've got my money on sooner rather than later.

David Starner - dstarner98@aasaa.ofe.org
Pointless website: http://dvdeug.dhis.org

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