An idea for a new development model

Jeremy Huntwork jhuntwork at
Tue Aug 14 21:02:07 PDT 2007


As I've been giving some thought to what might make the LiveCD project 
more manageable, more open to community development and better all 
around, it occurred to me that our build method could be adjusted. Right 
now the build is automated by a long series of Makefiles that was, in 
some respects, the inspiration for jhalfs. You set some variables, run 
make, wait 6 hours or so, and voila! (hopefully) a LiveCD. It gets very 
difficult (or, at least, annoying) to develop because of the long times 
involved in building the entire thing.

So an idea is brewing...

Essentially, the LiveCD is a distribution. But it is a distribution 
without something that nearly all others have: package management. Up to 
now, there hasn't really been a need. But, if the CD incorporated PM at 
its very heart, developers could focus more on tightening individual 
components instead of always building the entire CD in one shot.

For example, let's say a flaw was found in one of the pieces of software 
included on the CD. With the PM incorporated into the build, all we 
would need to do is grab the latest packages, run a small script to 
install them into a working directory with the proper configuration, 
update the build commands for the package in question, rebuild it, 
re-package it, and re-release an ISO. Working in this method should 
shorten build times, help solidify the build, and open up a host of 
other possibilities.

If you like the sound of this new approach, please share your thoughts 
on what might help make it work. Details need to be discussed, such as 
the exact development model, package management tools, updated 
development scripts, tracking dependencies and standards for 
development. I'll wait until there is some discussion before I speak any 
further on some of the details that are already forming in my head.

Lastly, I'm posting this to {,b}lfs-dev because I'd like to make sure 
those current groups of readers have the opportunity to comment. If 
possible, though, please send discussion to the livecd list.


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