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Re: grip being removed [Re: rawhide report: 20050120 changes]

On Thu, 2005-01-27 at 23:23 -0700, Tyler Larson wrote:
> Rodd Clarkson wrote:

> Lets face it, if we're really interested in shrinking the size of the 
> distro, cutting a few packages like XMMS isn't going to make a spit of 
> difference. Not even eliminating unused packages is going to do much good.

Sure xmms is small, but it's about 4.8M of RPMS (including devel, flac
and skins)  On top of this is requires the GTK-1.x libraries so assuming
not a lot else uses these libraries you're another step towards not
needing them in core anymore.

And while 4.8M doesn't sound like much, that's almost 1% of a CD-ROM.
It's a start.  You only need to find about 120 more little apps that are
duplicated in functionality and your well on your way to a CD-ROM being

> If we want to make an appreciable difference in the size of FC, we've 
> got to cut at least enough to remove a CD or two. If we just cut a few 
> redundant packages, we piss some people off, but gain nearly nothing.

Agreed. But as long as these packages are easy to install (yum install
package) then this isn't a huge deal.

> If we really want to cut the size of the distro by more than a few 
> hundred meg, we've got to start removing functionality. Plain and 
> simple. Something that lots of people *need* has to go. And you're not 
> going to do it without making a whole lot of people really, really mad.

Not if you handle it well.  I know that's a big ask, but it can be
handled well.  There a plenty of distros out there that only use a
single CD and these users are more than satisfied with what comes on the

> So, what gets the ax? Tough to say. There's only 15 packages in fc3 that 
> are >= 20 Meg. And OOo accounts for almost 200M of that. But can we 
> really ax OpenOffice? Heresy. KDE? Blasphemous.

Sure, stick OOo on a extras CD-ROM.  The ISO would be small, so those
who want it wouldn't have to download a lot, and most would just yum
install it.  Since RH really doesn't focus on KDE (all the RH tools use
GTK) I don't have any problem with KDE being on a separate Extras disk

This may sound arrogant, I'll admit that I'm not a KDE user, but haing
to grab a single extras disk for KDE (and a lot of KDE users sound like
they  get their KDE from somewhere else than RH) instead of everyone
having to grab four disks is a big win for everyone, even if you want
KDE.  KDE users grab two ISOs, others grab one.  Users of OOo grab
another.  Sure you might end up with 9 or 10 extras disks (Java, KDE,
OOo, etc) but none would fill a disk so you aren't grabbing huge amounts
of stuff your aren't ever going to use.

Imagine how nice is would be if instead of trying to fit everything onto
four disks inside four ISOs with a stack of software you are never going
to use so you can get the few bits you do use, you could instead grab on
CORE ISO and four or five smaller isos that target the stuff you want.

> Sure, we could move packages to Extras... if only we had some idea what 
> Extras is. Whatever it is, though, I'm quite certain that the packages 
> *I* use don't belong there, right? But if the Extras CDs are distributed 
> with the core CDs, and if most people will need the Extras CDs to get 
> those last three packages they're rather fond of, what really is the 
> point dividing them up? Other than, of course, to inconvenience the 
> user. I was all for it a few hours ago, but now it doesn't sound like 
> we'll be helping anyone out.

If people need a few extra packages (like the three number you suggest)
it's going to be far easier to just yum install them, rather than
download three extra 650MB ISOs for these three, or four, or ten, or
twenty packages.
> The way I see it, we're left with two options:
> A) Big distro. Deal with it.

Little distro, better deal

> B) Piss lots of people off because Fedora no longer includes the 
> software they use. Sorry KDE and OOo users.

Well defined ISOs which target users needs and save dramatically on the
amount of downloads they need just to install CORE, KDE and OOo.
Everyone wins.

> The third option, "remove the stuff people don't use", seems more like a 
> pipe dream than a viable course of action. You can't remove enough fat 
> to keep A from happening without bringing about B. Moving a substantial 
> amount of stuff into an "Extras" category (or whatever it is) seems like 
> a "worst of both worlds" solution. Not only has the total software base 
> not shrunk, but it's now more difficult to find the package you want. 
> What are the chances, really, that the average user *won't* want at 
> least some of the software on the Extras CD(s)?

Everyone uses something different so it just wont happen.  Personally I
would love to just have to download the CORE disk, and the OOo, Java,
and Devel disks and then just yum the few other packages I need.  What a
dream.  Having to download over 2GB of disks is a PITA.

Of course, the Extras concept has to work well and people have to
realize that there is value in having ISOs that don't consume a CD.  If
all you need for OOo is a 200 ISO, then that's all it should be.  The
temptation to do OOo and KDE on the one disk should be ignored.  Both
ISOs won't be much more than a single ISO with both, but users who only
want one or the other will be much better off.

> I don't know. The more I think about it, the less excited I get. Perhaps 
> someone can share a more rosy picture of how moving packages to Fedora 
> Extras is supposed to make the users' lives so much easier. Anyone care 
> to bite?

The more I think about it the more I think this is the way to go.  I'd
love a distro that offered more than a single disks functionality, but
also offered a single disk that functions, along with small(er)
downloads to address particular focus areas.  Combine this with the ease
of using yum to add those one or two other packages and how good would
that be.

>From the pain come the dream
>From the dream come the vision
>From the vision come the people
>From the people come the power
>From this power come the change

                         - Peter Gabriel

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