[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Proposal: switch default desktop to xfce

Christoph Anton Mitterer <calestyo@scientia.net> writes:

> But do we really need a default desktop environment?

There are different ways of presenting the choice that make the choice
more or less obvious, but it's hard to avoid a default choice in an
installer.  Even if you force the user to pick one of a list of options,
users will tend to pick the first on the list.

If you need to eliminate the concept of default entirely, the best you can
probably do is either not install a desktop environment at all by default,
or randomize the list each time it's presented, so each user sees a
different "default."

Neither of those seem particularly appealing.

There is a lot of practical benefit to aligning our default choice with
the defaults chosen by other versions of Linux, since it means that the
user who is vaguely familiar with Linux at just a user level will see a
consistent and expected user interface when installing Debian.  I suspect
the concept of the default desktop environment is less important (although
not unimportant) for Debian than for a lot of other Linux distributions
since Debian by nature tends to attract more sophisticated users who are
more comfortable with the idea of switching such things themselves.

It might be worth noting here that, anecdotally, I talk to a lot of more
casual Linux users who view the various desktop-variant Ubuntu install
choices (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc.) as separate Linux distributions from
Ubuntu itself, although my understanding is that the differences apart
from the choice of default desktop environment are minimal and you can
achieve effectively the same results by just installing Ubuntu and then
the desktop environment of your choice.  The idea of the desktop
environment just being an option in the distribution like your choice of
editor or web browser seems somewhat foreign to a lot of
less-sophisticated users.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

Reply to: