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Re: Fedora extras and the distribution size

On 14/07/2004, at 7:02 PM, Russell Coker wrote:

On Wed, 14 Jul 2004 18:36, Nathan Robertson <nathanr nathanr net> wrote:
In the above scenario, we all end up installing a system from half the
number of CDs, and get 90% of what we want. Then we grab the 10% of
"personal favourites" we prefer from extras. Everyone elses favourite
10% doesn't affect the size of my download then, and everyone remains

In Australia DVD drives are down to $59 each (that's $US42), DVD blanks are
available for $2.60 each in bulk ($US1.89), and DVD writers are rapidly
getting cheaper. This combined with the decreasing cost of broadband net
access makes DVD installation increasingly useful.

Yes, but by saying that you are limiting to people who can download 4GB isos. I concede that that includes sources, but even so, 1GB, 2GB and 4GB are far apart, and not everyone has unlimited ADSL. For example, only the top two of Telstra's five plans would be able to download the FC2 DVD iso, even if they abstained from the Internet for the rest of the month. (for those outside .au, Telstra is Australia's biggest telco). Oh, and that's before you run up2date / yum to update your machine after install (and with xorg and kernel updates, that adds up too).

The size of the download needs to be considered, particularly given there is no official pressed DVD version shipped by Red Hat for $15 with a 50 page pocketbook guide at your local newsagent any more.

I expect that in about a year most people will be installing from DVD rather
than CD, which means that we could double the amount of data and still fit on
one disc. Or the same amount of data and have both source and binaries on
one disc.

The way things are going, they'll have no choice. What happens when all binary and source RPMs don't fit on one DVD? Ship two DVDs? We all remember Red Hat moving from 1 to 2 CDs, 2 to 3 CDs, and Fedora "Core" (!!) from 3 to 4 CDs. At some point it needs to be said that "enoughs enough". The extra effort (and CD space) that goes into maintaining duplicate packages could probably be spent better on a bit of additional functionality and dropping a few CDs. See the threads on "FC3 wishlist" for ideas on what the "additional functionality" might be.

Moving things to extras to save on the number of CDs seems rather
short-sighted. I think that the choice of what gets in "extras" and what is
in main should be made on the technical merits of the software, our ability
to support it, and customer demand.

Maybe. That definition is too vague though. Just like why some things were in Powertools and some things in the main distribution was back in the good old days. Something more definitive and objective would be nice.


PS. I have both x86 and amd64 hardware. Over 8GB of DVD isos. I'm lucky enough to have unlimited ADSL. Many don't.

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