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Re: We need easier installation.

On Fri, Oct 23, 1998 at 05:00:45PM -0500, matthew.r.pavlovich.1 wrote:
> Along these lines, I would have to go with one thought: eye candy.  For
> the new user, it is all about GUI and point and click.  The more advanced
> users already know about emacs, vi etc..as a user progresses, he will
> learn of the benefits of quick editing in vi, and other things that set
> unix apart.  
> I think one of the hardest things for us to do is to put ourselves in
> their shoes.  I don't think it would be too hard to determine that
> Netscape Mail is a little easier to use than 'mail'.  There is no reason
> why two applications in the same catagory cannot earn the 5 star rating,
> quake2 and squake (BTW is there now glquake package?) will no doubtably
> be such an example.  
> I think it is also critical for us to set up a standard window/desktop 
> manager configuration.  Maybe GNOME, or if KDE gets their stuff together.
> This will eliminate a lot of confusion on the installation, between the
> differences of an Xserver and a Window Manager.  I know that there are
> better wm, as far as speed, and memory usage goes, but I think we should
> go back to the idea of eye candy.

It has occured to me that we have the hardest job of all distribution
producers.  We have (nearly) everything and we want to server
everyone.  Our present setup works pretty well for experienced users
who know mutt from mule.  Serving the naive users is a really big
hurdle and requires a lot of focused thought and code.  I'm not scared
of it.  However, I do see some significant hurdles that aren't about
"show me the code".  

We need
  1) Prepackaged configurations.  We have something that does this,
     but I haven't been able to make sense of it.
  2) Smooth install.  All the questions must be asked up front or at
     the end.
  3) Configuration browser and archive.  Admins like me want to be
     able to reproduce a configuration and maintain a single site with
     all of the latest packages.  dselect does some of this but it can
     be awkward.  It is especially hard to ask the question: what
     editors are available?
  4) Better looking install.  While what we have is functional, no one
     is going to balk at a better looking install unless it is a
     resource vampire.  I think we can make something lightweight that
     presents progress bars and the other niceness.

The only real hurdle is integrating configuration into a new kind of
UI that generates a consistent presentation.  I can see a way to
migrate this direction where we have an auxiliary configuration piece
that describes the data we need from the user so that the standard
install script can operate unattended.


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