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Re: Re: RFC: Making mail-transport-agent Priority: optional

Andreas Barth wrote:
> * Neil Williams (codehelp@debian.org) [111015 22:23]:
> > The problem with "Standard" is that it is currently (and heavily) biased
> > towards multi-user servers and most of the replies in this thread which
> > decry the absence of an MTA would appear to come from those principally
> > concerned with servers. It just doesn't fit with desktop users or
> > embedded users.
> "Standard" is just another word for "what someone expect so it's
> considered as normal unix", which *is* a multi-user server.
> Perhaps the task isn't named perfect, but that's just what standard
> is.

The name doesn't matter.  What does matter: d-i installs standard by
default, unless you explicitly unselect it, and few users would think it
a good idea to deselect standard unless they'd already had experiences
like I had, namely "this contains several things I don't want, I'd
rather install what I want then remove what I don't".  And that only
works well for me because I've gone to the trouble of creating a set of
metapackages for myself which install exactly what I want; otherwise,
I'd probably just live with installing standard and combing aptitude
afterward for the half-dozen things I want to purge every time.

I think most packages in standard make perfect sense, not just for
multi-user UNIX servers but for any non-minimal Linux system.  Perfect
examples include: less (scrolling back in manpages is nice),
bash-completion (make the shell much more friendly), openssh-client,
reportbug, pciutils (lspci), file, locales.  These are tools burned into
people's finger memory, or which otherwise help people greatly even when
setting up a more complete system, or which people often use for
troubleshooting.  A Debian system without a decent amount of standard
installed proves rather painful to use.  Nonetheless, if you want to
install a truly minimal system and choose everything else yourself, you
need not install any of them.

So, I think having a standard set of packages installed by default but
deselectable in the installer makes sense.  On the other hand, tasksel
already has a task named "Mail Server", and that seems like the right
place to put an MTA, rather than standard.

- Josh Triplett

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