Re: no more "one CD fits all" ...and then?
>From RalfGesellensetter on Monday, 2005-07-11 at 11:10:39 +0200:
> Dear Patrick,
> thank you for your thorough reply on this issue.
> Am Sonntag, 10. Juli 2005 15:53 schrieb Patrick Willam:
> > V.) per another distinction
> > There haven't come any more characterisitics to my mind up to now.
> > You have got another suggestion? Let us hear about it!
> Yes. You got the point: the question is: where to split. Two further
> options come into my mind:
> V.) split by region
> personally I doubt that language packages use that much space on the cd.
> however, conrad newton also seems to have good experiences with
> building snofrix-versions for different regions (e.g. nordic).
> For Debian-Edu/Skolelinux this could mean:
> - Central-/Northern-Europe + US + Australia
> - South-West-Europe + Latin America
> - Eastern Europe
> - Asia, Arabia, Africa ...
When I started rebuilding Snofrix last winter, I nearly despaired,
because I *hate* to delete applications, but all the packages had
grown so large. After experimenting with various options, I found
one I could live it: make a different CD for each language.
The logic behind this is the following. In a learning environment,
you are unlikely to need more than one or at most two languages
for your user interface. Naturally enough, a Norwegian may want
to _learn_ Spanish, but that does not mean he/she needs to have
a Spanish computer interface. I therefore include a Spanish
spell-checker for OO.o, but not Spanish OO.o or Spanish KDE.
Note here that it is kde-i18n-* that is the real killer in
terms of space used - see the list at the end of this message.
The Swedes have been insanely active and use up 24MB!
The main reason to have multiple kde-i18n-* packages on one CD
is that it simplifies the build/distribution process. You do
not have to make more than one CD! But in the long term I believe
that this approach is untenable. Rather than killing off applications,
which are after all, the real reason to install the system, I would
much rather delete unnecessary languages. If this means rebuilding
the CD for each individual language, so be it.
For Snofrix, this process is not especially painful. OpenOffice.org
and Firefox both respect the $LANG variable, so no special tuning is
required to get the user interface you want, although tweaking may still
be necessary to get an appropriate spell-checking. I cannot speak for
the entire set of skolelinux applications, but it seems to me that the
best approach would be to create automatic mechanisms/scripts to convert
the CD from one language to another.
I am superstitious, and I convert all the Snofrix CDs by hand, but
generally speaking this process does not cost me more than a few
hours -- I imagine it could be automated.
> VI.) core-cd + extensions
> Analysing the space needed by different packages on conrad's snofrix, it
> stroke me that gcompris and openoffice both take approx. 200 MB! This
> makes it very clear that you can save a lot of space if you omit
> applications that are not needed by everyone:
> - primary schools want gcompris, but possibly can do w/o openoffice
> - with secondary schools it is vice versa.
This procedure is more complicated, because it requires you to find
a nice dividing line between small child/big child, with a high
probability that you get it wrong in the end! Separation by language
is much cleaner.