On Tue, Oct 22, 2002 at 09:54:39AM -0400, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote: > I think it would be more useful if this discussion stayed focused on > simple, concrete things we could do to improve the Debian desktop right > now rather than pie in the sky ideas like redoing the entire Unix way of > configuration. Work on the install tool. http://gluck.debian.org/debian-cd/ has bootable (for i386) sarge CDs, regenerated daily based on debian-installer. A _lot_ of work is needed. Note that at this point there is *no* prospect of PGI being available as an install option on official CDs, so don't assume that the work done there (in the UI, in autodetection, in _anything_) will have any affect on sarge's installer. Before anything like that will happen it'll require a lot of effort from someone to either port PGI's functionality across to d-i, or to restructure PGI so that images can be easily and automatically constructed, and so that it supports the entire range of machines and installation methods we wish to support. d-i's getting close to it's second birthday, and even with the fairly active development it's enjoyed the last three months, it still hasn't really reached the point of "functional". At the rate we're going, we're anywhere up to a year and a half away from having something we can test and build upon, and that impacts the quality of the rest of our distribution by making it absolutely impossible for anyone to do installation testing, which is our main line of defence from packaging bugs . Some concrete suggestions: * Help clean up and fix debian-installer. There are huge numbers of problems; try an install, find something obnoxious, fix it, rinse, repeat. * Rework the boot-floppies system into udebs. debian-installer is suffering from two independent sets of problems at the moment: one is that the udeb system is completely untried, and it's difficult getting everything needed in udeb form. The other is that debconf is completely untried for the install tool, and that throwing up some design issues. Having boot-floppies as udebs would allow us to shake out one set of problems, without having to worry about the others, and would give us a chance at a fallback position if our patience runs out before debian-installer is done. * Rework PGI into udebs. Similar benefits, similar difficulties, but additionally: PGI has only ever worked on a couple of architectures, essentially requires a CD, and requires a significant number of packages that aren't already udeb'ed; and on the upside, is reportedly much more pleasant than boot-floppies or debian-installer. Note also that we'll need to ensure that sarge works well with the next Linux kernel (2.6/3.0) -- we're _highly_ unlikely to release before it's stable, even given the usual teething problems stable kernel releases have, and that it's only just approaching its (first?) feature freeze. Seriously, having a crappy installer -- or worse, not even having a crappy installer -- really is hurting Debian's effectiveness, both at "world domination" and at simply meeting our own needs and expectations. Cheers, aj  Upgrade testing is great, except for two things: it's incredibly difficult to give repeatable reports, since both your system and the archive are moving targets; and our biggest problem isn't in handling upgrades, it's in handling new installs. Hands up anyone who's done a few woody installs and _not_ come across any unnecessary annoyances, or any bugs. -- Anthony Towns <firstname.lastname@example.org> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/> I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred. ``If you don't do it now, you'll be one year older when you do.''
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