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Re: cleaning up our task packages

Joey Hess wrote:
> I suspect most people don't look at tasksel on a regular basis, but if
> it were possible to do a fresh woody install today, here is what you
> would see:

An excellent summarisation, Joey: there is a problem here.

Your suggestion is one way of looking at it, but is it the "right" way? 
I seem to never install using tasks because they are too general - they
make decisions the way I wouldn't - and they are (at the same time!) too
specific - they frequently make decisions I can make with dselect or

The idea of having tasks within tasks that someone suggested seems a
good one though. If you could have a structure of tasks then you could
have a top level task which selected (by default) the lower level ones,
but still allowed override of lower level tasks.

For example, you list "Database Pg" as one task.  Much as I am a fan of
PostgreSQL there are other choices, so it should really be "Database
Server", and it should default to being a PostgreSQL database server. 
The interface (blithely ignoring implementation details here!) could
allow the user to track into "Details" and adjust things for different

This is a very different way of looking at things than dselect does -
much finer-grained, and much more functionally based than the dselect
categorisations are.  Lets face it, this is really more how dselect
should be categorising things.  What is the use of a loose
categorisation such as 'net', 'web', 'X', 'mail' or 'games' (OK, well
maybe 'games') apart from a really rough and ready guide to finding
things.  Some of these are narrow and some are huge.  The sub-split by
importance is irrelevant to most humans driving the interface now (but
helpful to programs).

TaskSel is a good idea: re-categorise things in a functional manner, but
it doesn't go far enough.  There need to be at least three levels
available to such a hierarchy, but preferably there should be ten or

Thanks for putting your proposal forward - I hope it's going to promote
some really valuable discussion.

           Andrew McMillan, e-mail: Andrew@catalyst.net.nz
Catalyst IT Ltd, PO Box 10-225, Level 22, 105 The Terrace, Wellington
Me: +64 (21) 635 694, Fax: +64 (4) 499 5596, Office: +64 (4) 499 2267

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