Proposal for solving CD Size problems

Mgr. Peter Tuharsky tuharsky at
Wed Sep 27 09:51:00 BST 2006

With computing,
everything is about gaining some more time. It doesn't matter, if that 
means buying a new computer that starts expiring immediately and will be 
considered a crap in 3 years, or buying the new version of software that 
will be undoubtely replaced one day.

No one could say what will happen in 2 years and what should we expect. 
Every buy or decision, we still just fight to gain some more time.

However if there is an option to effectively POSTPONE any complex 
actions or decisions, it is often ENOUGH what can one do. Problems 
sometimes solve themselves by the time, or lose their weight.
For example, if one could afford NOT to buy new PC or new version of 
software, thus skipping some part or whole generation cycle, it is 
enough to be considered the smart choice or even luxury.

-let's first use the CD's capabilities to the full extent, by using lzma 
or better gzip. Thus gain some 70-100MB of extra space for cost of small 
or even unnoticed performance hit, that would only have impact on Live 
usage anyway.
-Learn from Knoppix.

This step has zero cost increase impact, zero logistics impact and can 
be done quite easily. Thus we gain some time, maybe a year.

-Logistics and infrastructure can use the time to prepare for 2-CD and 
DVD shipment
-everything could be well discussed and prepared for solid, smart 
decisions WHEN IT COMES TO. With every move, we could consider "what 
impact would it have if 2 CD's were reality?" etc.

Durind the time, software too will mature itself and fully expose it's 
real requirements.
Not likely, but we might take profit from some optimisations too. 
Industry progress will keep painting the picture about the real needs of 
users, their hardware level, and options.
Vista too will show us interesting things to learn from (mainly in order 
of user's motives, priorities, and marketing).

-Some "popularity-contest" in the Debian style should gain major 
traction and be popularised enough, so that we will know better, what 
are the user's priorities.
-Survey should be taken, optional for the user, short and smart, during 
installation process.

When it comes to the situation so that CD is definitely not enough, even 
with gzip, I'd better suggest 2 CD set. The basic packages and 
dependencies (partially based on popularity-contest results) should be 
all on the first one (to be still useful as Live CD), and additional 
packages and language packs on the second, used for installation purposes.

Saying that, that time also DVD should start to be available. The market 
(including the download statistics) will show definitely its parameters 
and needs.


> Now, perhaps a single DVD isn't the best of all possible solutions;
> maybe multiple CDs or some other innovation would be better. But
> _something_ needs to be established to deal with increasing space
> requirements. Ubuntu could make up the space increases this time by
> removing some things; what will it be removing next time? At what point
> does removing things become impractical? These are questions that need
> to be addressed, and soon.

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