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[MiNT] 1-18 release - userfriendliness
Now that 1-18 is about to be released I think it's time do discuss how to make the releases more user-friendly and easier to install/upgrade. This is still an issue for the less experienced users, 20 years after MultiTOS.
There are several issues that needs to be addressed:
1. The docs are a mess. 20 years of notes tossed in a couple of directories.
2. The release archive is quite messy too, with all possible variants of the binaries in the same directories.
3. Setting up a network with MiNT is actually very simple, but there are no docs explaining how.
4. How do you transfer MiNT to an Atari with no networking? The archive doesn't fit on a floppy.
A few weeks ago I made a simple FreeMiNT-setup for the Falcon/TT after a discussion on Atari-forum (see thread here: http://atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=24218). This discussion pretty much sums up the typical problems you face when you start to familiarize yourself with MiNT. I posted some brief instructions on how to install MiNT from scratch, and realized that most of the things the new user has to do could easily be skipped with a slightly better distribution.
You can see the result here: http://atari.nvg.org/VanillaMiNT/. About 15 people has installed this on their Falcon/TT with very few problems. It does contain some stuff that's not part of FreeMiNT itself (Teradesk and DHCP client) but I think the principle works fine. I suggest that the build-process should end up with something similar - a zip archive that is easily transferred with floppies and installed simply by extracting them.
If there's any interest my crude network configuration utility could be included as well.