Subject: Re: install could use some static binaries
To: Chris G Demetriou <>
From: Phil Knaack <>
List: port-i386
Date: 08/08/1996 10:07:59
>> Strange, I'd have thought a simple editor, with on-screen instructions
>> such as Chris outlines,  would be a splendid way for  CoolInstall(tm)
>> to let the user specify:

>> 	0) size of each partition
>> 	1) source of installation sets (ftp server, NFS pathname, local
>> 	   pathname, whatever...)
>> 	2) hostname
>> 	3) IP address(es) and netmask(s)
>> 	4) default gateway
>> 	5) DNS servers
>> 	6) mail hub, if selected.

>Why do you need to be in a general purpose editor (i.e. emacs, vi, ed)
>to do any of those?

	I could envision an install scheme where the user is given a sort of
template file (like the template given to "send-pr" users) where you are
given a list of fields, perhaps a sample for how to fill each, and even 
long descriptions of the various parts of the install process in this file.

	The user would then just read down this file, understanding the 
procedure as he goes, filling out fields and continuing, and even going back
up a few lines and changing answers to fields if later he decides he should
have answered them differently.

	[This was my number one complaint about the install scripts back
in 1.0 and such, that once you answered a question you couldn't just
go back and change something. Typing cylinder and disk sizes could be
very tedious if you had a predilection for number-keypad-typos. :-)] 

	A carefully-generated awk script could easily parse this and
run the necessary commands.

	I don't know if this is what the original poster had in mind
(probably not) but I definitely see it as a possibility.

Phillip F Knaack
Database Programmer, Information Development for Extension Audiences (IDEA)
Iowa State University Extension