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Re: dvd space issues

[Jürgen Leibner]
> One point here is for sure, that people do only know that about
> packages, they use for their own No one alone is in my opinion able
> to say for every package, if it is useless or not. This is what
> every user should decide for his own purpose of use

Well, this mindset is completely bogus when it come to the Debian Edu
/ Skolelinux project.  This project is about _us_, the developers,
helping schools to find the best tools for use in schools, and that
means that _we_ select among the 30 000 packages available in Debian
and recommend to the schools and admins which packages to use _by
installing them by default_ in our distribution.

Not doing this selection and claiming it have to be left to each user
is doing the user a serious dis-service, and completely failing the
goal of the Debian Edu project.  We need to be brave enough to pick
the packages we believe in and skip the rest, to make sure the
teachers, admins and our users can save the time required to do so.

> Only the summary of all users minds, qualified by their purposes of
> use for the package of interest in addition of other factors like
> the amount of users are using it, or the availability of translation
> to our core languages and so on, will give a basement for the
> decision to put on the dvd or not. But without getting users,
> telling us their minds, we are in fact unable to get this basement
> and need to decide on facts we have and our own minds.

Choosing and recommending good packages for use in schools is exactly
what this project is all about.  And that means we need to make
decisions and live with the consequences.  The alternative is called
Debian, and it pushes all the cognitive strain, evaluation of packages
and configuration onto the school administrators.  That is a very bad
idea.  For those that believe Debian Edu is a waste of time and shools
should all use official Debian images and installation instead, check
with your local school if this is what they want.  I seriously doubt
they have the man-hours to sink into such project.

> On the other side, how much work, cost, or what else is needed, is
> it, to provide architecture depending DVDs?

Well, it will increase the logistic load on distributors and
administrators, and increasing the chance of having the wrong disk
available when they need to install.

> I see the best solution in beginning to provide architecture
> depending DVDs (if it doesnt fails on the point above) _and_
> starting to get the list of usefull packages consolidated based on
> the popcon.debian.org numbers. And afterwards begin with getting
> more criterias into that decision process.

Well, we have started that process years ago, but no-one have done any
serious work on it.  I've found some hours to locate and document some
duplicate functionallities, but that is only scratching the surface of
the problem.  So it is a simple question of actually doing this work,
not discuss if we should start on it.

To raise the quality of the project we need to be brave enough to
actually select the packages we believe in and drop the others, to
save all the schools the time to do the same evaluation individually.
Schools with only a few hours every week to do system administration
do not have time to look throught 30k packages to see if there is
anything interesting in the Debian archive.

Happy hacking,
Petter Reinholdtsen

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