The Live CD attempts to offer both a "Live Use" environment, and a "full" (for some value of full) installable copy of OpenSolaris.
The problem with this is that we have way, way too many things duplicated on the Live CD. For example, two copies of Mozilla, two copies of Evolution, and two copies of Thunderbird. (One copy each to run in the live environment, and one copy in packaged form for installation.)
This is crazy.
People who want to play around with an operating system don't need two different mailer packages. In fact, one could argue that if I'm going to use a Live environment, the CD is not going to be my method of choice. I'm going to want eithe a DVD, or (more likely) USB media where I can get faster performance and have more options. Trying to keep a live demonstration environment in the confines of a CD (or rather the space left on the CD after the installable portions), makes no sense at all. As a Live environment, I am going to want all the bells and whistles, and compilers too! (And -- perhaps most importantly -- office applications like Open Office, which don't fit in the CD right now.)
Conversely, there are those who just want to install the bits. The live media is just a vehicle to install from. Oh, there are potentially useful applications that can be present too, but they are always in support of installation. Having a web browser so that I can access my router's configuration, for example, or search for updated information about my hardware, is likely to be useful. But do I really need or want two different mailers? And klotski? PDA synchronization? Etc. This is crazy.
And its worse; because of the size of the Live "CD", we already have a situation where it does not fit on the CD. We have also sacrificed other things that, in my opinion, we should not have, in the name of "space". I'm a strong tcsh advocate, and its absence from the installation media is sorely felt, especially when installing to systems that don't have a Internet connectivity. I'm sure there are other similar things that could be the installation media if only there were space.
Well, there is space. Easily. We just need to be smarter about it.
Its time to separate the jobs into separate tasks.
- Live Media. (Live DVD, and probably also USB.) Give up on trying to do it in 700MB for a CD though. This should be sized for a single DVD, and have all the goodies, including OpenOffice. It should continue to offer installable bits as well.
- Install media. This should not have the Live environment, but have only those tools which are deemed supportive to installation. (Do include a web browser, but don't include games or a music player, for example.) It should fit easily within 700MB. I suspect that the installation media could even be merged into the AI media, to support a single disk that can do either network installation, or local CD-ROM based installation.
Eventually the 700MB limitation is going to be a problem even with a change like the above. I believe that we can go a lot longer with what we've got, if we don't try to force the jack-of-all-trades to fit into a shoebox, though.