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Re: Still no base tarball

I'm having difficulty tracking all the different parts of this thread,
and trying to work out what consensus, if any, is being reached.

I believe the following points are important, but for anyone can't be arsed
to read them all, the summary is at the bottom...

Think about the purpose of the CDs. Some of the people who have been posting
to the list *seem* to be forgetting to do this.

As far as I can see, the purpose of a Debian CD is *not* primarily to enable
installation by booting from the CD, but rather to enable installation/
recovery with minimal other resources required (like: bandwidth+time for
a massive download, a LAN+knowledge to use it for install, hundreds of
floppies etc.)

Booting from CD and installing from the provided archive may often be the most
convenient way to do things, but not always.

The next most common option in my experience is to create boot floppies from
the CD using another machine (often running windows). Having booted from the
first floppy, the aim is then to start using the CD as soon as possible.

In some cases, the CD may be merely the means to carry the archive around -
installation to be done with floppies created on another machine, then
completed via a (possibly dialup) network connection.

Aside: were it not for the flexibility of the Debian installtion process,
I'd probably still be using slackware right now. I had previously been put
off by the fact that stable appeared to be rather out-of-date, and the err,
cough, interface to ds... cough... was a little unf... cough. I was able to
install onto a 486-50 laptop with 4MB RAM using 7 floppies (created on a
slackware box) followed by nfs over PLIP (no Adam, no network either). None
of the other major distributions would install on that box *at all*. Having
installed the system, and been forced to learn a little bit about dselect,
I was converted.

Think about people all over the world with shite hardware, no bandwidth to
speak of, and little knowledge. If I can give someone like that a CD and
they can get it working *somehow*, then that's a big win.

I'm hoping to be shipping a load of old hardware over to some friends in
Tanzania soon (note: It appears MS are just starting to think about getting
their teeth into that kind of market - starting with the civil service which
apparently currently uses ripped-off ms stuff). If I'm going to chuck a bunch
of CDs in with the machines, they need to be absolutely self-contained.
Ability to install by building floppies from CD#1 is *essential*, no arsing
about downloading base tarballs from god-knows-where.


If including what's necessary to enable that is "a waste of space", well,
actually, maybe the whole CD thing is a waste of space too - why not just
distribute a post-it note with "see http://www.debian.org"; on it and let
them download it all.


Nick Phillips -- nwp@lemon-computing.com
Don't relax!  It's only your tension that's holding you together.

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