What next?

DJ Lucas dj at linuxfromscratch.org
Wed Feb 27 00:23:24 PST 2008

Sorry if this comes in twice...my first response never showed.

Gerard Beekmans wrote:

> With determination and 
> a clear plan they *can* become reality if everybody rallies behind it 
> and help out.

Judging by the amount of responses, it definitely needs to be clarified. I
really need a painted picture here, because the one I had earlier was
pretty grave.  See below...

> LFS in itself is a great exercise. Without parts of BLFS that end 
> result isn't very usable for a system that you actually plan to use on 
> a daily basis; server or workstation wise.
> Without a better ALFS integration, people are going to find themselves 
> unable to use LFS in production on more than one computer. 


> Package management has been brought up by various people. It's a 
> simple requirement if you plan to use the system for a while, besides 
> just learning. ALFS would be able to tackle that problem as well.

Again agreed, though you make it sound as if to 'get ALFS working' is a
difficult task, and it's just not anymore.

> What if ALFS became the main way to do an LFS system? 
> The book can still provide all the educational value it does today. 
> But concentrate less on how to run a configure script. It's far more 
> valuable to know how Glibc works internally, and how it interacts with 
> every part of the system and what it provides beyond just a C library, 
> than how a configure script figures out where "gawk" lives.

Very interesting point.  I'd have disagreed in the past though.  Who
still remembers the reboot in Chapter 7? There was no copy and paste
back then and that's where I learned a ton about fixing my mistakes. Due
entirely to my LFS/BLFS work,
'./configure --prefix=/usr && make && make install' will forever be a
thoughtless flicking and flopping of fingers. :-) Now with today's book,
everyone does CnP, so if the ideas in the rest of this message are
implemented properly, I guess we don't even loose finger memory, and a
lot could be gained.  I like the ideas, but the presentation of the book
text is going to be so much more important if the users aren't forced to
read in order to get to the final result.

Maybe I'm just paranoid.  I mean, I really don't want to overshadow the
good points of this thread by my vision, but I've got to throw
it out there so that we don't become just another distro.  I wonder if
anyone else had envisioned the same?  The one I had was not that much
different than an installation of Windows XP, except it's on a text
console, with it's endless loop of messages about how much better it is
than previous versions of Windows. Those messages replaced by the text
of the LFS book, while jhalfs is just chugging along in the background.

"jhalfs will complete in 4 hours and 26 minutes" it says.  Of course
that might be closer to 12 hours, or maybe only 26 minutes.  ;-)  OK,
yeah, that's pushing it, SBUs are way better an estimate than any of
Microsoft's best guesses.  But seriously, that's just not anything even
close to LFS.  Presentation of the book's text and *interaction* *with*,
rather than full automation of the ALFS tool will have to be the main
focus for a while.  Can the semi-automated way be done where it actually
requires that you read the book?

<Snip all the good ideas>

I guess I agree with your suggestions, I am just very concerned about 
automating too much and loosing the educational value completely.

-- DJ Lucas

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