as a new developer and end user. One of the "problems" i see with
it is that these out of the box "distributions" i.e. dotlrn, etc.
are not very hard to set up - sure CVS isn't that fun, but once
you have APM's of dotlrn, etc. its pretty easy to do - thanks in large part to the package manager and *.apm files.
Given that currently people need to know how to compile
postgresql (or worse install oracle), aolserver, make them
automatically start/stop and respawn themselves, etc. change user
profile settings (i.e. bash_profile, etc) before being able to
install openacs, I don't think the ease of install MIST would
provide would be necessary given that user base already needs to
be reasonably computer savy to get to the point where they get
the core working and are able to use MIST... If all one needed to
do to get the core running was to apt-get openacs, or rpm -ivh
openacs, and if that took care of postgres, oracle, aolserver,
etc, setup, as well as the service monitor, (possibly even Image
Magik) and all of the that, then openacs would be catering to a
different group of people that might find the install scripts
helpful, but I don't think the current user base would find it to be very important. And i'm not sure if openacs should even cater to the user base that needs rpms and deb files... websites inherently need to be customized, and you need to be reasonably savy to do that.
I do like the idea of clearly defining a core and separating
packages from that core as much as possible, but the automatic
install aspect of MIST doesn't seem to important to me (as a new
developer/end user). It would be nice to have
packages.openacs.org, as a shared ftp type server (though most
likely with file-storage on top of openacs) so anybody can
upload a module they create with a description of its application - but it sounds like this is already in the works.
I agree with Don that getting the whole tarball is a nice thing. This is what i do with Linux Distro's just like he says... hard drive space is cheap (especically when were are talking about less than 100MB no matter what), and it is nice to get everything... that doens't mean it all needs to be activated, but there is no harm in having it sit and take up space on your server... it isn't that much space after all. Same things goes for linux distros - i always install everything from the beginning, and just deactivate it until it is needed... much like openacs distros.