What if the book wasn't a book anymore

Gerard Beekmans gerard at linuxfromscratch.org
Wed Feb 27 15:06:41 PST 2008

What if LFS wasn't in book form anymore. What if it's an interactive 
program instead. A 100% merge of LFS, BLFS, ALFS, <any>LFS.

It starts with running the LFS program (be it a real program or 
collection of scripts). What is now the LFS book is on-screen instead. 
You read the chapter portions as you work your way through an installation.

You still have 100% control but you can decide fully manual (today's 
style) or fully automatic style (when you've done it before and you just 
want to get the end result).

As a package is installed (manually or automatic) present the user with 
a wealth of information. Talk about the package that's in process of 
being installed. Talk about whatever makes sense - anything from a 
high-level overview to nitty gritty details where/why/how to configure 
the package (prior to, during, or after the installation).

Let's take an example from today's distributions. If you want to install 
a full desktop environment (Gnome and/or KDE for example) you end up 
with dozens if not hundreds of packages and several hundred MB worth of 
disk space used. The last time I asked to have KDE and Gnome installed I 
ended up with over 600 packages downloaded, a gigabyte later, and hours 
of waiting.

Great, I now have the environments fully installed. What exactly do all 
those 600+ packages do and why do I need them?

Or a different example, you know you need a program installed. You 
install it. Then you are left hanging: "Okay, now what. It's installed. 
Somewhere. There are configuration files. Somewhere. I'm sure there is 
documentation that answers those questions. Somewhere."

If nothing else it would be nice that after a package is installed it 
outputs (a) page(s) of information right on your screen where the files 
are, how it's pre-configured (if applicable), why it's pre-configured 
the way it is. And more importantly - provide a starting point to 
customize the product.

If nothing else, a courtesy line "Package installed. The docs you need 
to read now are in /usr/share/doc/package/file - they'll explain how to 
configure it and start using the product."

Just some more food for thoughts. While we're discussing let's also take 
the time to think outside the box. Abandon, at least in theory, anything 
that is currently LFS, pre-conceived notions and otherwise, and see what 
happens when we re-invent LFS and the way we do things.


More information about the lfs-dev mailing list