[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Newbie Idea

On Thu, 29 Apr 1999, Brian Wiens wrote:

> GUI installs have difficulties on older hardware but the intent is to, at a

or worse, machines without video cards or monitors. Linux isn't a single
user OS.

> be.  For anyone with MS experience, that means GUI or something that 
> provides at
> least as much information.

I think you have nailed it with this comment. The *real*  issue is how
much "information" / online help the install provides, not the GUI. 
BTW, note that most of the windows install doesn't actually use the
It looks nice, but doesn't really use much GUI  functionality. 

> Doing it for each package also makes sense, especially when you have (for text
> editors alone) vi, vim, joe, jed, emacs, xemacs, etc...  The newbie is 
> wondering
> something like:  What are the differences between them?  Which one should I
> select?  

The newbies will go insane if they have to choose individual packages !!!

> If I don't accept one of them will that prevent me from doing something
> important?  

choosing the defaults should not cause the user to miss something

> If I don't select it now, how could I add it later?  

that's something to worry about later (-; 

> Why the h*** are
> there so many?  

this is both good and bad at the same time. On one hand we want to include
what's available, OTOH, too much stuff confuses the user.

> (WinXX comes with Notepad and Wordpad/Write, installed by
> default.  

Linux also  installs a sensible choice by default.

> we could also,
> and should, do better, using them as the start point.

they are not a good model. Why ? they don't ship much in terms of major
apps with their core OS. A linux distribution is a big swag of servers,
utilities and  applications -- with an OS. Windows XX is just an OS with a
few bundled apps and utilities. 
> How about a video-like tutorial (mov/avi/other)?  HP puts one out with 
> their new  boxes.  It's a pig on HD space (something like 30megs) but
> that works in a
> pre-installed box.  A clear description is good, but a demonstration 
> (canned if it  can't be live) is better.

This is a good idea. 

> command line text editor installed by default.  Choosing between text 
> editors,

use the defaults (-; 

> deciding whether or not I need a news server to read newsgroups, knowing the

I am pretty sure the news server is in the "groups".

> difference between the different parts of the mail delivery systems, etc.  We

We don't want to require that the user understand the difference between
sendmail and procmail before they get linux install ( hint : they would
never get it installed if we did that ... )

> sure that the competent/advanced WinXX user who is a Linux newbie gets  
> told enough
> to be able to do a "custom" install in a half-decent fashion 

Group selection is a "half decent" fashion. 

OTOH, to select individual packages and do it well, you really have to
actually know something. There is know way around it. BTW, your examples
just cover the "easy" packages ( the ones where it's easy to explain the
functionality to the user ... ) 

> (something that I  always choose anyway, because I hate not knowing what
> my options could have been,  even though I often just accept the default
> install :-).
you could also choose every single dll in windows, but it';s not a good
idea (-;

> It isn't that involved.  Here are a couple of examples

your examples are too easy. Try to explain to a user awhat a caching
nameserver is without assuming that they know about DNS.

:BTWd, we haven't even started to discuss the question of rewriting
detailed descriptions of all the packages ... this is a lot of work ( and
probably requires rebuilding all of the RPMs ) 

> Easy to say, difficult to do when you sometimes don't even know what 
> the category
> means.  

I guess we really want the usert to understand what the category means.
This is where we could reasonably provide some more info. 

> It needs to be as explicit as "If you have a LAN and need to connect a Linux
> computer to a SMB computer (such as Windows 9x (TM), then you should install
> Samba.  To configure Samba, read (the clearly written, step by step guide :-)
> before using (the graphical configuration program :-).

yep. We need to do something about the group stuff.

Coding stuff into the install is difficult, but we could make some
handwritten docs much more easily. This could be done very quickly and
would possibly be effective. 

> You understand this problem because you faced it as a newbie, but you are
> expecting the new newbies to not have the same concerns.  

On the contrary, I am trying to think of a solution that has a snowflakes
chance in hell ofactually getting implemented in the forseeable future (-;

Again, at risk of repeating myself: newbies don't know enough to select
packages individually.  And they will not learn enough to be anble to do
so in any reasonable time frame for an installation.

> And you just wrote the script that has to pop up when that box is selected (in a
> GUI install :-).

More online help in the install would be good. Remember, ideas that we can
actually implement get more points than ideas that require a lot of top
> mailing lists that require Linux to be working first, but enough information in
> the right form at the right time to allow any level of user to install a Linux
> distro that they will be comfortable with, even and especially my 
> techno neophyte

Yep. And these people should not try to install packages individually (
just like they shopuldn't be forced to know what TCP/IP and DNS are to get
onto AOL   ... ) 

Anyway, I have an idea: how about we spawn a process that involves writing
a short piece about each "group" that pops up at install time ? This is
something that we can actually get to work on today. (-;

-- Donovan