Those of us that work on anaconda have long been in a bit of a difficult place when it comes to actually testing our changes. Things are dependent on a tree being available with a new anaconda that had buildinstall run… and these tend to take long enough (hours) that the run occurs once a day. If it works, great. If not, oh well. Which is pretty sucky when you have a typo that gets in the way of all of your testing. Sure, we had updates.img for some things, but it still ends up being dependent on the tree existing to begin with.
But now, that's changed. I've just sent off a set of patches which ultimately add a make testiso target to the anaconda makefile. Given an existing yum repo and this target, you can now get a testable, bootable ISO image to kick off a network install in a pretty short time period. To do this, I've cleaned up a lot of old cruft in our image building scripts and also now take advantage of the fact that we're using yum repos and thus have commands like repoquery and yumdownloader rather than depending on shell globbing and find commands to get packages. I've also made the necessary changes so that boot.iso goes away. While boot.iso had its day, these days, downloading 100 megs to start a network installation isn't that big of a deal. Especially when it means that you already have the second stage available and thus don't have to download it during the install. So for Fedora 9, we'll instead have a netinst.iso (note: better names still accepted) that you can download for starting your network installation.