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Re: SEUL: Re: Trial or no trial

> Certain arguments against trial mode were stated that may need to be
> sharpened up before I could support them.
I'll see what I can do... ;-)

> 1. The trial install may be so aggravating that the user abandons 
>    install.
>    If this is true and trial install looks like the real install then
>    SEUL should be improved. 
Exactly.  I don't think the install will be aggravating, just time-consuming.  
A trial install won't be any more difficult than a full install, in fact it 
would be simpler.  It's just that, well, how many people do you know who have 
a couple spare hours to experiment with a new OS on their home PC?

Of course, for those that want to upgrade but don't want to Just Do It(tm), a 
trial install may be just the thing.

> 2. The resources required will dillute efforts on more critical work.
>    It seems that we will need something like trial install to do testing
>    on a broad spectrum of users.  Several iterations of testing will be
>    required before a product is shippable.  The earlier the testing, the
>    less the requirment for resources to refine SEUL.
Point taken.  A testing group should also be formed, initially to work with 
users to determine what they want, eventually to organize 
alpha/beta/prerelease testing of SEUL so we know if we got it right.

A trial install of sorts would be required for this kind of testing.  My Dad, 
for instance, might be willing to beta-test on his box, but he's not going to 
want to partition his disk.

> 3. It doesn't support the orginal operating system model.  Someday if
>    Linux has created an enormous demand, you may see Circuit City
>    throwing in a SEUL CD with a new purcahse.  First we are going to
>    have to win over a substatial number conversions, just to get enough
>    name recognition.  Then if the SEUL CD is really, really good people
>    may start asking why there is windows.
This is true.  From a philosophical point of view, I hate the idea of Linux 
residing under M$'s FAT.  It puts huge performance constraints on the system, 
and from the user's point of view it makes SEUL look inferior to M$, instead 
of a superior replacement.

To see Circuit City throwing in a free CD would be great, but I would rather 
get Micron/Compaq/etc. to start building systems specifically for Linux, with 
SEUL pre-installed.  *That* is how we know we've made a dent in the M$ market, 
since these companies pay M$ for a Win95/NT license for every computer they 
sell, regardless of whether or not it's installed or even given to the user.  
This is one of M$'s illegal trade practices that the FTC is too chicken to 
deal with.

Here's what I propose for the 'trial' install:

1) User gets CD, want to try it out.
2) User puts CD in drive, gets nifty splash screen and goes through installer 
prep stuff to determine what kind of hardware they have and install they want.
3) Installer builds small (<10MB) image on disk, with loadlin and a kernel.
4) User boots Linux via the Start button:
4.1) loadlin loads kernel, points it at disk image
4.2) disk image starts up with bare minimums
4.3) disk image finds CD, mounts it, and starts symlinking in basics
4.4) user installs packages via live filesystem or mountable RPMs
5) User reboots, goes back to Win95, tries Linux again later, gets the same 
stuff again because the disk image contains /etc, /var, and /home.
6) User *hates* SEUL (bad user! <smack!>), clicks uninstall, disk image goes 

Basically I'd like to avoid using the hard drive for much more than basic 
config and user data.  Installing to a huge loopback filesystem is a pain, 
slow, and IMO not a great idea.  That's what live CD's are for.

        Erik Walthinsen - Programmer, webmaster, 3D artist, etc.   __
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