Bug#511287: debian-installer: Should have a task for installing KDE or XFCE instead of Gnome
On Saturday 22 August 2009, Fathi Boudra wrote:
> We should revisit Joey's argument.
Personally, I agree with you. But I do feel the choice should only be
offered if it is done correctly. And that means someone will need to
invest a significant amount of time to implement it.
Here are my thoughts on how selection of a desktop environment (DE) could
be done in a responsible way.
The main limitation for any implementation is debconf. When a user is
offered a list of choices, there is *very* little space to explain the
choices. And I agree with Joey that just showing
is going to confuse the hell out of newbies, _even_ if you add short
descriptions after them.
Colin Watson has recently implemented a "help" option in _c_debconf, which
could be a solution to that, as the user could then get a help screen
with any amount of additional info about the desktops.
BUT, tasksel runs in the /target chroot, and we're still using debconf
there. There has been progress towards getting cdebconf ready for the
installed system, but AFAIK that's still some way off.
So, maybe getting cdebconf ready for the installed system should be a
blocker for this?
Also, the user should only be offered DEs *that are actually available and
installable*. For example, if the user installs from full CD1 and does
not add a mirror during apt-setup, only GNOME will be available and thus
that should be installed automatically.
(c)debconf does not support nested choices in a single dialog, so we'd
have to decide how to offer the choice of desktops:
- keep the current tasks dialog as it is and add a second dialog after
that which is only shown if "graphical desktop environment" was selected
on the first (maybe only at medium/low priority?);
- list all available DEs in existing main tasksel dialog, together with
the server tasks.
We'd also have to decide whether to allow the user to choose only one or
multiple DEs (with the second option above selection of multiple would be
the only possibility!).
Finally, IMO the check for available diskspace would need to be improved,
especially if we allow selection of multiple DEs. Currently we check for
a fixed value, but the different DEs require very different amount of