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Re: Thoughts on the installer (early)

Thom May wrote:
> Folks.
> Much of this is probably repeating what has already been said,
> but here goes.
> I, either on line or in real life, continually say to people who
> ask me which distribution of linux to use, "use debian". and
> they, routinely, say "but the installer is terrifying, and straight
> out of the dark ages." "I really like debian, but the installer
> is much too nasty to use." etc etc
> With the now working release of gtkfb, and the soon to be
> release (hopefully) of curses gtk+, it seems to me that there is
> a good opportunity for a "nice" ie, newbie friendly, installer.
> Using gtkfb for a graphical installer and curses gtk+ for a text
> installer would mean that the same code could be used for both
> methods, allowing for a consistent ui "look and feel".
> I realise that using gtkfb adds several more dependencies to the
> install software, not least is the need to have VESA
> framebuffer support compiled into the kernel, but i feel that it
> would be a relatively small sacrifice given the potential that a
> graphical installer has.
> Just some ideas.
> cheers,
> -Thom

I had similar thoughts when i read about the gtk framebuffer thing,
although we do now have a framebuffer frontend (bogl) for cdebconf.

The beauty of the design for the new debian installer is that it will be
tightly integrated with debian tools, the frontend will be driven by
cdebconf, and it will be modular with each module itself being a debian
package that can be fetched as required (except a few core modules).

The install will be able to handle a variety of different UI's, text for
worst case senarios and for brail terminals, or curses/slang for
installing from terminals, fb based graphics for console, maybe even an
X based one. Each frontend for cdebconf is a seperate library so it
might(?) be possible to change UI half way through the install.

Becasue the different types of UI will all be driven by cdebconf there
will be consistency in the type/style of questions, but of course
visually things will differ beteen UI's.

Im sure when the new installer is done it will be something to be proud
of, still much to do though.


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