Subject: Re: PROPOSAL: NetBSD System Packages
To: Jonathan Stone <jonathan@DSG.Stanford.EDU>
From: Gandhi woulda smacked you <>
List: tech-install
Date: 10/01/1998 02:14:28
On Thu, 1 Oct 1998, Jonathan Stone wrote:

 * We _already_ have two sets of tools -- sysinst and the pkg_* commands.
 * I dont see either of them as going away.  What we're talking about is
 * unifying the two formats, pkgs and tarballs, and that requires changes
 * from both sides.

Actually, from what I've seen, there's been a lot of bitching and
moaning that sysinst is an odd combination of a band-aid and a crutch.
I think if we could move away from sysinst as anything more than a
nice UI which called the pkg* tools, we'd be a darn sight closer to
a very nice, very _clean_ install.

 *   b) we need to extract a contents-list of a `container',
 *      so users can opt to select individual pkgs rather than the
 *      whole `container' set.  Hopefully we can do that without
 *      requiring one pass over the set for for each pkg in  the set.

That's a good start.

 *   c) Knowing total unpacked sizes for each set, broken down by
 *      `standard' filesystem boundaries, would be nice, but not essential.

Being able to determine total unpacked sizes broken down by actual
filesystem boundaries -- or even in a raw manner ("This will take this
much space on root; I'll note it to help you size your filesystems
later") (depending on which comes first, filesystem layout or software
selection) -- is not just "nice".  It's not essential NOW (while we're
preparing for a first run and ironing out the bugs at some point), but
it needs to be addressed.

 *   d) an extension mechanism, for future-proofing:
 *      e.g., so at some later point we can add `default' options for
 *      which sets to unpack and which to not unpack, if that ever
 *      becomes sensible.

This is an NP-complete problem.

 *   e) maybe, just maybe, some idea of dependencies betwen `pkgsets'.

This will eventually be a necessity.

 * We can either have two completly different formats and two sets of
 * tools, or we can agree on a file format which both tools can grok.
 * That way, a user who wants to add more sets, post-install, can do so
 * with either the pkg tools or with sysinst.

I still think that sysinst should be a front end to call the pkg

 * That's what I'm trying to do.   the install folks have already
 * given up on raw tarballs of pkgs. How else can we help come
 * closer to a single shared file format for pkgs and pkgsets?

Um, make the tools tools and make the UI a UI?


I apologise if I've been abrasive of late.  I'm not trying to step on
anyone's toes...

Friends don't let friends use Microsoft.