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Re: More tasks option in Tasksel: what tasks do you want there? (reloaded)

Opening a new thread, trying to sum-up what's been said.

It's looking like some of the options are confusing for both advanced
users and newbies. The technologies behind the tasks are hidden, and
there's no obvious way to know what will happen (other than looking at
the package source of tasksel in debian/control). For example:

- database-server: commonly one would expect MySQL, and postgress gets

- file-server: samba & NFS will get installed. One may have expect other
technologies like own-cloud or such.

Only a few of the current tasks are helpful for the general use case:

- Desktop environment
- ssh-server
- print-server (as there's anyway only cups that would do the job)

So, the current tasks seem to be not appropriate, or at least, would
benefits of some improvements. It seems Joey Hess already took some
action about it [1]:

"Most of the server tasks were not well enough defined or useful and so
were removed. I kept ssh-server, print-server, and web-server."

So this goes in line with what has been said in debian-devel already,
and I believe it goes in the right direction.

All that being said, I still think we should discuss what task to put in
the default tasksel instead.

Now for my own opinion.

Joey, will you as well remove the "SQL Database" option? Or at least
rename it as "SQL Database (postgress)" so that it's more explicit? More
generally, it is my opinion that both the "SQL Database" and "Web
server" tasks (which respectively install only Postgress and Apache)
aren't very useful, and are doing exactly the thing which you said we
shouldn't do: select a single package with a task. It's not addressing
newbies need, neither experts, IMO.

So, with what you're proposing, we'll have something like this:

   │    [*] Desktop environment                             │
   │    [*] ... Xfce                                        │
   │    [ ] ... GNOME                                       │
   │    [ ] ... KDE                                         │
   │    [ ] Debian pure blends                              │
   │    [ ] ... Debian Edu                                  │
   │    [ ] ... Debian Med                                  │
   │    [ ] ... DebiChem                                    │
   │    [ ] Openstack                                       │
   │    [ ] ... Compute Node                                │
   │    [ ] ... Proxy Node                                  │

This looks awesome already, a way better than what we had before. Not
only this provides real choices to the user, but also suggest usage
features which some of our users may have missed. Someone already
proposed, in the wiki, to add "Games". I like the idea a lot, and it
perfectly makes sense to select all games at once.

Note that on the wiki page [2], some contributors already proposed to
add some individual packages, like VirtualBox. This is not the role of
tasksel to select a single package, so I removed it.

Someone proposed to add some improvements to the GUI of the task
selection dialogue. This is unfortunately out of the scope of this
discussion (as this would mean improving debconf itself, or using
something else than debconf for tasksel), therefore, I removed these
lines from the page. But do not mistake on my intention: I believe
everyone would like to see this kind of GUI improvement in Tasksel. Just
do it (tm) and provide the patch if you can, rather than just discussing
it which doesn't help. To the contrary, discussing the tasks themselves
is helpful, because they are easy to modify.

I'm sure someone will reply to this thread with more nice ideas to
improve it even more.


Thomas Goirand (zigo)

[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2014/09/msg00206.html
[2] https://wiki.debian.org/tasksel/MoreTasks

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