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Probably I'm going to say the obvious, but...

On Mon, 14 Apr 1997, Rob MacWilliams wrote:

> 2.  I know there has been much traffic about the interface


> Now all that is needed is a keystroke sequence to open and close the
> categories.  The closest piece of software out now that would be similar
> is the Netscape News Window.

That would be really nice to have. *Personally* (don't quote me ;-) I like
the Windows Explorer way: left pane with collapsible directories, right
pane with stuff, and add one bottom pane for information... much like
current dselect but a bit more organized, and FASTER, PLEASE.

I'm not into that pre-configured idea, but I know many users would like to
have it. It's nice, but please let me customize it. For example, in a
developers environment I want C, and Fortran, with all the programs that
are "needed" (things such as make, developers' libraries, and an editor
that "understands" C, not necessarily Emacs), but I DON'T want Phyton, or
Tcl/Tk, or C++ (I'd like to have the time to learn all those, but heck, I
have some work to do, too).

Possible categories are: Desktop, Network, TeX, Developers, GUI (be that
KDE or X+properly configured window manager like AfterStep, fvwm2,
others). Mixing of categories should be allowed. There has been some talk
about how to implement this, but I guess you'll need to create some
"configuration packages", i.e., packages that provide just configurations,
and depend on other packages.

But more important is a recent thread on this group: NFS installations, in
the sense that Debian could be the first distribution that supports site
installations. We already provide packages for NIS, NFS root booting,
cfengine, and things like that, but in my experience, these are not
plug-and-play kind of things. Lots of people have devised methods for
maintaining networks of Debian machines, but we still lack a "generic"
solution. We need something in the lines of: install the server machines,
make groups, and choose what to propagate to the different groups. For
example, the server may have Apache installed (because of dwww, for
example), but not the clients. In this scenario "dpkg --get-selections
..." fails because it will install Apache on the clients which is not
needed. NFS-root works, but it has one small problem, it shares root. And
NFS booting can be a pain sometimes. Also, someone already mentioned this:
one must be able to choose what to share, say /usr and /var, but not
/usr/local, without much hassle.

Obviously this is monolithic work, but Debian's meant to be "The Universal
OS", isn't it?

I hope this helps.

		Marcelo Magallon

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