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Re: Newbie Idea

I think that I've figured out part of the problem and, very unfortunately, I'll have to use M$
as a good (shudders) example :-)

jfm2@club-internet.fr wrote:

> > On Mon, 26 Apr 1999, Donovan Rebbechi wrote:
> > >
> > > yep. Consider also that most of the arguments in favour of light versions
> > > have been put forth as a means of downloading ... but in the long term we
> > > hope that the user will be able to just get a cheap CD.
> >
> > That's right, but think also of HD size.

The download part, I think, has already been adequately addressed.  It mostly only applies in
North America, and once 0.2> appear, they'll be on CD.

> > On Mon, 26 Apr 1999, Brian Wiens wrote:
> > >
> > > This still doesn't answer my other point.  I didn't know what I wanted and the package
> > > names are somewhat cryptic.  To be "safe", I would still install anything which was not
> > > obvious to me that I did _not_ need.  A newbie of my type (am I rare?) would still go
> > > whole hog if they had the space to spare just to be sure not to miss anything
> > > important.
> >
> > Brian makes a good point here! Even having a CD, just being a newbie to Linux
> > the package names that I had to choose from during the install...well do I need
> > to repeat what Brian said so well. (and yes Brian, I did go whole hog. I now
> > had the space to spare!)
> >
> Ok!  Now suppose I am a newbie.  I don't know much about what I need
> depite the function key describing the package (for a true newbie this
> wil be chines).

Function key!?!  What function key?  It's been a couple of months since I did an install, but
I've always wondered, while installing/selecting packages, what each package did - never saw a
function key.  I'll have to pay attention next time :-).

> First of all I should not be selecting individual
> packages: I should be selecting by categories.  And I think a newbie
> should be able to tell if he wants games or not, programming stuff or
> not.  Second I should be using the workstation install thus not
> needing to bother about partitionning nor package selection.  I have
> already said RedHat's "workstation" install is probably not we need so
> we will have to create our own selection of software and give it a
> different name but I think this is the way to go.  "Select this for
> fun and home, this for workstation and this for sever"

This is where M$, and software written for Winxx platforms, comes in.  As an example, if I
change my Win 95 install with Setup, I go to a dialogue box where I can select entire
categories (and a description is displayed as I select each category) or I can look at the
detail of the category and select specific functionality under that category.  Further,
InstallShield has three default install methods, setup by the packager - Full, Minimal, Custom
(I've also seen Normal in some installers, not necessarily InstallShield).  From this example,
which seems to work in most cases, especially with the Custom option available, I would propose
two approaches (from a CD install) - either leave the install the way it is with information
more readily/understandably available (NB - the info in the RPMs is not always clear enough to
be useful - ie FOOBAR handles (pick a standard) operations similar to the way OLDFOO does but
has added the new (pick another Unix acronym) approach - this doesn't tell the user anything
worthwhile :-) or provide tailored installs a la InstallShield - or both ?

I know that the RedHat control panel provides some of this functionality post-install (I seem
to have lost this with KDE as well - is it still there?  It's not under the RedHat software
category), and you can do some of this in the RedHat install process.  It just doesn't match
the MS paradigm that users are familiar with.  Until Linux becomes the OS that a significant
portion of the world _starts_ on, we have to bow to at least some of the "standards" that have
been set by Redmond.

> > IMO having a "lite" or "fun" version with *good* documentation on size, and how
> > and what to expect before, during and after the install would be to Indy's
> > advantage.

Horror of horrors, I must point to M$ again.  You can often get a bloatware tutorial,
especially with a brand name PC, that shows you pretty pictures of the screens and leads you
through the key steps to getting started on your new Winbox.  Any takers for Indy 0.2/0.3?

> Weather it be a ftp download, CD or whatever. Limiting what the user
> > needs to choose during the install. Meaning give the user every thing needed to
> > be Internet ready, productive and fun.

Absolutely!  The only two things keeping me on Win 95/98 at all (once I get my LAN/PPP
connection working) will be Quicken (years of legacy information - is Intuit working on a Linux
version?) and educational software for my young children.  However, it has taken me almost a
year of on again/off again effort to get to that point.  My Win98 box purchased in August was
set up, connected to the Internet, connected to my home LAN, and in process of converting my
finance files to the included version of Quicken in one evening.  I want to use Linux, but it's
not there - yet.

> Give'em time to learn a little about Linux first, then when they are
> > ready we can say "Look what else you can do!" No need to give the new user the
> > whole cow when all they want is the milk!

Well said!

Just my $0.02.

Brian Wiens