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Re: Corel/Debian Linux Installer

>>"Michael" == Michael Stone <mstone@debian.org> writes:

 >> A better system would be to ask the questions anyway, and
 >> provide the defaults. 

 Michael> But the questions themselves are confusing, if the user has
 Michael> to sit and consider them. IME, users assume that if there's
 Michael> a question there, it's there for a reason; i.e., if they
 Michael> don't put the right thing into the box their system isn't
 Michael> going to work. They worry about it. (Really!)

        They have what the system considers a decent option right in
 front of them. And if they are that ignorant about UNIX, they really
 should be worrying. You are doing them a major disseervice by saying
 everythiung is fine, for it is not: now they are the sys admin of a
 UNIX box.

 >> Novice users would be encouraged to stick with the defaults, 

 Michael> If we encourage them to just hit enter, and tell them that
 Michael> the questions aren't really important, what have we gained?

        Who says the questions are not important? The question can be
 explanatory, let them know what options exist with a help screen, and
 provide a decent default if theyu are in doubt. 

        They learn way more than if the decision had happened behind
 their back.

 >> but would learn that something called partitioning exists. 

 Michael> That's a subject for a "so you want to know more" guide, not
 Michael> an install routine. We're _installing_ not _teaching_ in the
 Michael> _install_ routine. And as I said before, it's not enough to
 Michael> say that partitioning exists: you need to say how partitions
 Michael> are accessed, etc. Do you really want a tutorial on the
 Michael> logic behind the unix vfs in the install program?

        Try and achieve a happy medium. You have to start them
 learning, not teach them all there is to know.

 >> Education of novice users should be a part of our efforts.

 Michael> Why? What purpose does it serve for someone who wants a word
 Michael> processor to know about partitioning? Not everyone has a
 Michael> need or a desire to be a unix guru, and such should not be
 Michael> an expectation or a requirement for running debian.

        Then they should be using Windows. Linux is ot for everyone,
 and blind fanaticism hurts more than it helps. If we lie to users and
 say Linux is as easy as windows, you need know nothing and do not
 need to look at manuals, that is a lie.

        And it is a lousy way to gain users in the long term, because
 they would have been burned so badly to start with, they will never
 come back. 

 Michael> What about an "easy/quick/generic" option, a "customized"
 Michael> option, and an "expert" option? What I'm trying to address
 Michael> isn't so much the person who isn't yet a unix expert as the
 Michael> person who has *no desire* to *ever* be a unix expert. I

        Then being a UNIX sysadmin is a stunningly bad move on their
  part, and shame on us for decieving them into it.

 Michael> understand what you're saying, but my intent isn't to be
 Michael> patronizing; I'm not assuming that people can't learn, but I
 Michael> think that you're making an assumption that everyone wants
 Michael> to learn everything.

        If they do not want to, they should not be pitchforked into
 being UNIX sysadmins.

        Maybe Linux can get to be easy to use in a couple of years or
 so, and we shall revisit this. But right now, you should encourage
 these people to go to Windows. When they learn abvout the drawbacks,
 maybe they shall be willing to learn how to use UNIX. If they are
 happy with windows, leave them there.


 Give me a sleeping pill and tell me your troubles.
Manoj Srivastava   <srivasta@debian.org>  <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
Key C7261095 fingerprint = CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05  CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E

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