[pkg-fso-maint] install.sh vs. d-i (was Re: [patch] Re: pkg-fso-maint Digest, Vol 7, Issue 20)

Luca Capello luca at pca.it
Tue Feb 17 21:52:56 UTC 2009

Hi Steffen!

Nothing in this mail is personal, just my considerations.

On Tue, 17 Feb 2009 12:10:26 +0100, Steffen Moeller wrote:
> Luca Capello wrote:
>> I will not repeat what I have already said about install.sh [1],
>> i.e. we should move away from it ASAP: it is becoming a beast to
>> maintain and thus prone to errors.  Moreover, it hardcodes too many
>> things which are useful for the GTA01/GTA02 only.
>> [1] http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/pkg-fso-maint/2009-January/000465.html
>> This has nothing to do with the quality of Steffen's patches :-)
> The install.sh script is unvaluable, since it is the only way, for the
> moment, to guarantee consistent installations across the userbase.

Unfortunately, consistency is something I *want* (not would like), but
at the same time I gave up about it a long time ago.

> Please be aware of our current situation: we all have the same
> hardware,

I clearly stated my opinion, about not only Debian, but every
distribution on the FreeRunner, back in November [1] and IIRC even
before while discussing with Arne Anka about the fso-config-* and
fso-sounds-* packages.  Let me quote it again:

  We have a unique possibility here: everyone has the same hardware,
  thus the problem people encounter should be very specific.

Nevertheless, as you could see, everyday people start new software
simply because the one that they use is broken.  Sadly to be said, in
this case having the same hardware seems to be more a problem than
anything good.

[1] http://lists.linuxtogo.org/pipermail/smartphones-userland/2008-November/000371.html

> but the only thing that (Debian-wise) works for me personally at the
> moment is zhone with the phone application. no gps. calling wifi
> breaks the usb connection, scanning the wifi network eventually makes
> the machine go into suspend mode from which it awakes only with white
> screens, I had several complete lockups, such pressing power does not
> work any more, removing the battery became routine. The 2.6.24 kernel
> was better in terms of stability from my observation.

Actually, there are two ways I (as the Debian maintainer for the
Openmoko kernel) can be aware of any problem: the mailing lists
(smartphones-* and this one, I will stay away from lists.openmoko.org)
and the Debian BTS.  AFAIK there is no report about any problem
introduced by the 2.6.28 kernel, which on the contrary I have found an
improvement in terms of power management.

I have repeated it a lot of time now, I use the FreeRunner as my
*everyday* phone, nothing more, nothing less.  It seems clear that I
have different expectations than any other user on the mailing lists
(again, smartphones-* and this one).  IMHO the FreeRunner is far from
being ready to be used as a smartphone/PDA, because it lacks not only a
fully-featured OS (Debian will be there, soon or later), but also proper
hardware support (one example for all, the WiFi).

> The only way, from my perception, to rule out missconfigurations are
> clean installs. And for that we need install.sh.

Unfortunately, this is not true: network/connection problems are not so
rare, especially when you do not have a fast uplink to the Internet.
And install.sh itself is not error-safe: the last example is the one
Axel reported at [2], for which you provided a patch ;-)

[2] http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/pkg-fso-maint/2009-February/000548.html

> In the long run, admittedly, it should just go.

The major problem here is the following:
luca at gismo:~$ git clone git://git.debian.org/pkg-fso/files.git
Initialized empty Git repository in /home/luca/files/.git/
luca at gismo:~$ wc files/install.sh
  835  2860 22536 files/install.sh
luca at gismo:~$

So many lines of shell code are a pain to be maintained, for everyone.
And remember we are missing GTA01 support, something which must go into
install.sh.  We are just duplicating something which is ready and
tested, the debian-installer: the more we avoid moving to d-i, the more
our (users and developers') time is lost.  I will not add more, since we
can clearly claim that Debian completely supports the Openmoko phones
only when the installation will be done through d-i.

> And I also agree, that with all your other activities you should
> somehow delegate the caring for install.sh. I don't know if I am the
> right person for it. Possibly not until my phone does actually work :)

Ideally, I would like to delegate all my Debian work to someone, so I
could start hacking on the FreeRunner for fun ;-)

The pkg-fso team was born and is founded on the do-ocracy principle [3]
(Joachim, please correct me if I am wrong), which means that if you want
to take care of install.sh, please go on!

[3] http://www.communitywiki.org/en/DoOcracy

Thx, bye,
Gismo / Luca
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 314 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/pkg-fso-maint/attachments/20090217/ea1344ec/attachment-0001.pgp 

More information about the pkg-fso-maint mailing list