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To: gentoo-installer@g.o
From: Eric Sammer <esammer@g.o>
Subject: New installer project status
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 23:40:42 -0500
All:

The new Gentoo installer project is underway. This email should serve as 
a quick rundown of where we're at, what we've done, where we want to go, 
and how we're going to get there.

Infrastructure:

The initial infrastructure for the installer project is just about 
there. We now have a mailing list (if you hadn't noticed), and an 
official channel on IRC (freenode) - #gentoo-installer. As of yet, 
there's no project page, but I'm sure that will come in time. Maybe 
we'll hijack a member of the documentation team to help with that.

Who's Involved:

Currently, we have a number of people, Gentoo devs and non-devs, 
involved or interested in the project. Two of the three installer 
projects have "signed on" to work together and hopefully the third will 
as well. Our two desktop co-leads are also involved in defining features 
and requirements, as well as other Gentoo devs from server, portage 
tools, and other teams. A number of non-developers (and / or soon to be 
developers) are also helping in various ways.

What We're Doing:

You probably know the idea - we're trying to bring together three 
projects and create a complete installer that covers desktop systems as 
well as automated server deployment.

As it stands, we've hashed out a number of requirements and features as 
well as some potentials for the installer. While an official list is not 
complete, here's a very brief (and most certainly INCOMPLETE) list of 
what we have:
	- Pluggable front ends (text, ncurses, gtk, qt, whatever)
	- Pluggable, override-able architecture support (x86, ppc, sparc, etc.)
	- Automated deployment (ala RH's Kickstart or Sun's Jumpstart)
	- No loss (or as absolutely little as possible) of flexibility from the 
manual process.
	- Atomic run of all commands so users can freely experiment with 
options prior to installation.
	- Intelligent defaults.

We have a few documents that cover what is going on. I STRONGLY 
recommend that you read them if you're interested in the project as a 
spectator. If you want to contribute, please consider it required 
reading as it will answer some initial questions that you will have.

http://dev.gentoo.org/~esammer/gentoo_installer_project.txt

What We Need:

We need to do the following...

- Solidify the team, both operational and development, and their roles.
- Get a team of willing testers.
- Get some people willing to do documentation, either from our doc team 
or otherwise.
- Get a code repository going. Since non-devs may (as in "might," not 
"can") participate in actual development, the repository may need to be 
hosted on non-Gentoo servers.
- Decide to what level non-devs should participate (mainly, can they 
commit code)
- Complete high(er) level design documents that all devs agree on.
- Code like the wind.
- Test like the dickens.

Hopefully, this will help get the ball rolling, so to speak. Most of 
this stuff is just rehashed from #gentoo-installer (which, once again, 
we invite you to join), but it should help as a nagging reminder.

No doubt this is a button-pusher of a topic. We ask that all comments be 
constructive and respectful, even if you disagree, as at times we all 
will. ;)

(Oh yea, and please read that doc!)

Regards.
-- 
Eric Sammer
Gentoo Linux
http://www.gentoo.org
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