Subject: Re: Package config/var file paths proposal
To: Curt Sampson <>
From: Jim Wise <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 01/10/1999 00:02:19

On Sat, 9 Jan 1999, Curt Sampson wrote:

>But it does seem, that unless you're very careful, it's going to
>be possible for less-savvy folks to miss downloading the var portion
>of the thing.

This _is_ an issue, and is one of the main requirement that package sets
set out to fill.  If a user downloads and installs the games package
set, they get all packages which make up the NetBSD games distribution.
This set will not only be a single logical entity, but will be a single
file, probably consisting of a tarball of package files, with some sort
of index thrown in for good measure.  More advanced users, or users with
`special needs' would always have the option of installing at a single
package granularity instead, either from the set file, or perhaps from
seperate package files.

Note that the format of a package set was one of the major bones of
contention last time this thread came around, so I want to stress that
several implementation details are left to be decided once we have some
sets of system packages to work with.  The requirements for the package
set format are:

	* It should physically contain the packages which make it 
	  up, to address exactly the problem you point out -- i.e.
	  to avoid Linux's `choose among thousands of little packages
	  at every install' problem.

	* The breakdown of sets should mirror our current distribution
	  sets -- if it aint't broke, don't fix it.

	* At the UI level, it should be possible to simply install a
	  whole set, _or_ to choose to `zoom in' and choose what to
	  install at the granularity of a single package.

- -- 
				Jim Wise

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