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Dselect proposed interface (was Re: 1.1 installation notes.)

On Fri, 10 May 1996 Romuald.du_Song@cms.etca.fr wrote:

> > From: Steve Preston <steve@eowyn.gte.com>
> > Subject: 1.1 installation notes.
> >  
> > ...
> > 
> > One trouble is that I find the dselect "Select" screen confusing.
> > Admittedly, It is not immediately obvious to me which line is the
> > "selection".  Also I was surprised, the first time I used dselect, to
> > see each section (admin, doc, text, etc.) show up multiple times.
> > 
> > I would prefer not starting in a split-screen mode here.
> > 
> > Another trouble was when dselect throws you into its
> > conflict/dependency sublists.  I was afraid to hit 'Enter' (to get
> > back to the main package list), for fear it would end the whole
> > package selection process.  Of course, I didn't know that I could go
> > back to the "Select" screen even if I did accidentally leave it.

Thinking about the dselect interface... 
What we need is a simpler job, yes power is nice, by the word here is
interface, and we want an interface that any 'dos' user can understand.

This is just a concept mockup -- it should be larger, not be made of ascii,

| GNU Emacs -- v1.0.3-2		  |1| Package: X.XX MB Installed: X.XX 	|3|			|
| The extensible self documenting |#| Installed but not configured.    	|#|
| text editor			  | | Requires: (name1), (name2)       	| |
| 				  | | Conflicts: (name3)		| |
|				  | | Suggests:	(none)			| |
|				  | | Provides: (editor)		| |
|				  | | 					| |
|				  | |					| |
|				  | |					| |
|5< admin  base  comm  devel  doc [editor]  electronics  ham  mail ...	>6|
|---------------------------------+      +------------------+-Installed-+-| 
| Important Editor:					    |       	|7|
|     ed  -- The classic Unix line editor		    |   Yes	| |
|     nvi -- 4.4BSD Reimplementation of vi		    |   No	| |
| Standard Editor:					    |		|#|
+-->  Emacs -- The GNU Emacs Editor.			    |  Partial	| |
| Optional Editor:					    |		| |
|     elisp-manual -- Emacs Lisp Reference Manual	    |		| |
|     elv-vi -- elvis, vi, view, input - The editor	    |		|8|
|9<  (+)Add package	(H) General Help   (D) Done (save results)	>0|
|9<  (-)Remove package	(C) Command Help   (Q) Quit (without saving)	>0|

All of the '012..9' keystrokes would move the scrollboxes as if you were
pressing an arrow.  All of the keystroke commands could be listed in a box
at the bottom with a scrollbar, the sections likewise in the middle.  (shift
could scroll bigger stuff a page at a time.)

Just bang on the buttons and you scroll it... We can have all the letter
commands we want and document as much as we want.

I know it looks comical, but anyone who saw this would be able to grasp it
-instantly-, leaving them to worry about more important things.

The dpkg --info text blurb should is in the upper left hand block, and all
the size/depends/status stuff can be in the upper right, including the
(hold/installed/old/selection) status which is also given a one-word summary
next to the package-name scrollbox in the center.

Sections listed in the center, of course change the order with 'o' or
whatever, but that can be dealt with later.

The current dselect screen isn't bad -- it's efficient, etc.  But it is too
'unix' ... which is to say, you're expected to think.  At this stage the
first time user has ~ 400 packages to deal with.  All the power in the world
can be hidden _just_below_ the surface, but the steering wheel and brakes have
to be easy to find.

Also someone suggested there be an installed size parameter in the packages
file... this probably wouldn't be a bad idea.

So you think you know the real meaning of fear?
Yeah, you think you do know, but I doubt it.
When you sit in a shelter with bombs falling all over.
And the houses around you are burning like torches.
I agree that you experience horror and fright
For such moments are dreadful, for as long as they last,
But the all-clear sounds--then it's okay--          |  -- Ilya Selvinskiy
You take a deep breath, the stress has passed by.   | (Taken from "The Sum
But real fear is a stone deep down in your chest.   |   of All Fears" by
You hear me?  A stone.  That's what it is, no more. | Tom Clancy pg. 182.)

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