[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

SEUL: Of Win95 and men

(this should move to seul-dev-install)

My opinion on this matter, in the context of determining what hardware a 
given computer has, is the following:

*Most* computers these days will have Windoze installed.  For this reason,
we should make a serious attempt at gathering information from the .ini
files or the registry, as appropriate.

However, many people have pointed out various circumstances under which 
there are no .ini or registry files.  These cases are valid, and they 
certainly are not *rare.  Almost all of my machines have been installed
to blanked or otherwise useless disks.

What we should be doing is this:

1) find/write/improve Linux-based autoprobing.  Much work has already been 
done, I believe.  The kernel tells you much, /proc/pci will ID most cards 
these days (especially if someone keeps an auxiliary database active for 
those cards the kernel *doesn't* ID yet), and most modules for non-PCI 
devices are safe enough that they can be brute-forced.

2) Develop basic methods for raiding .ini and registry files.  It's already 
possible to raid registry files, I have this nice CPAN module called 
IniConf that will read them.  I'm going to be using it to raid the 
monitor[s0-6].inf files for the monitors database.  Registry also will be 
relatively easy, if someone can write a Perl module to read it in, then 
some perl code to run around and figure out what the heck is going on.

3) During installation: first, do all the native probing you can.  Then, if 
Windoze is found, try to gather the information.  Once you have the two 
sets of data, correlate them.  If for a given device they match, you're 
good to go.  If they differ, try each if possible, otherwise either assume 
one or the other is correct or (in some cases) ask the user.

4) If there are other OS's to be migrated from, ppl can go ahead and write 
the config-raiding system themselves, and we'll likely include it.  
However, our *focus* should be on raiding tools for migration from Windoze.

One technical point I just thought of: what if the user is installing a 
system to outright *replace* Windoze?  In that case, the search for existing
config information will have to take place *before* this is done.  That means 
copying the files (or relevant portions) somewhere, or raiding the 
information up front.  One way or another, we can deal with it.  But such 
things should be decided much later, when we have a framework to try these 
things in.

Comments?  (They go to seul-dev-install.)

     Erik Walthinsen <omega@seul.org> - SEUL Project system architect
       /  \                SEUL: Simple End-User Linux -
      |    | M E G A            Creating a Linux distribution
      _\  /_                         for the home or office user