Subject: Re: 1.3Beta
To: None <port-i386@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: port-i386
Date: 12/03/1997 23:04:40
[ On Wed, December 3, 1997 at 05:52:59 (GMT), Jonathan Stone wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: 1.3Beta 
> The bottom line here is that the name 'sysinst' is _not_ going to
> change for the 1.3 release. It's far too late for that.

Perhaps things would have been different if these tools had been
developed long before someone thought it critical to start development
of them during a release phase?

Given the way things have gone my personal feeling is that all work on
sysinst should have stopped before it started and all attention
concentrated on polishing the release without worrying about some GUI
installation tool.  Yes hindsight is 20/20, but it's my guess that no
matter what happens the current effort is going to look really bad in
comparison to what many perceive as the competition.  Unless Herculean
effort is put into sysinst alone it won't come anywhere close to being
really cool -- we can only hope that it'll work well enough to be
generally useful.  I don't mean to point any blame or to criticise those
working on sysinst -- only to say that I don't think such work should be
done as part of the release polishing.  While the whole OS has hopefully
reached "beta" I don't think I'm alone in saying that sysinst is barely

Of course any extra effort towards sysinst is likely going to detract
from the true quality of the release (unless it simply extends the
release long enough for the rest of the developers to polish it more but
I'm not sure that's a good thing either).

BTW, I think a *lot* could be learned about making system installation
easier by looking at many of the other commercial and non-commercial
system installation tools.  FreeBSD is so easy to install these days
it's just not funny, and some of the semi-commercial Linux packages make
one green with envy.  Even the old SunOS install tools have many
advantages over what I've seen so far of sysinst (my knowledge of it is
a week old now).  Why not pick the best of the freely available ones
after the 1.3 release is frozen and hack it to be MI?  Surely there's
something appropriate out there that would save a whole lot of start-up
effort....  Pardon me if I'm covering well worn ground, but I don't
recall any real discussion about this issue in recent times.

I guess I don't really care about the name so long as it's either
started automatically when one first boots a system, from install media,
or its name is made painfully obvious as soon as the system is booted.

							Greg A. Woods

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