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Re: Proposal - simple textual wrapper for packages

On Wed, Nov 01, 2000 at 02:55:09PM +0000, guran remberg wrote:
> A Debian dilemma.
> Myself and other newbies, which come to Debian to learn how to run a
> small and properly confined Linux, may be called 'iconographs'. That is
> to say we don't know the underlying commando structure of what printing
> implies in Linux - but give us an icon of a printer and we stop asking
> questions and even get our job done.
One of the reason I'm using Linux is that here I can always try to
understand the 'commando structure' of whatever I want to do. On the
long run, this means that I can use my computer better.
Just my opinion, anyway.
> I have found that Debian, in contrast to Mandrake, RedHat and SuSe
> automatically starts or lets the user be met by a graphic user
> interface. To me that means that you have said welcome to us newbies,
> and accepted an easier approach.

This is new. Usually Debian is blamed exactly for not being 'welcome' to
new users. 
And debian has not a graphical installation (though its installation is more
friendly than many say). I assume that you are talking of the graphical
'login' (that is programs like xdm,wdm,gdm,kdm,....).Or you have a 
debian-based distro as Corel or Stormix?
Anyway, all the other distro you have mentioned have a graphical installer
AND some of them installs a graphical login by default. I'm afraid I've lost
you here ... :-).

> The question is then, what is the next step. Surely you can't mean that
> all newbies shall start with emacs or as you call it emacs20. Which I
> learned when I tried apt-get remove emacs.
> I understand that a server without an X-server, needs vi and/or emacs,
> but you ought to be capable of collecting a nice little newbie starting
> Debian. Based on mc and nedit, when we are talking editors.
I've seen many on this list agree wth you on this. I learned basic vi
on other unixes, so I don't count. And I thanks emacs authors every day
in my programming job.

There are other text-based editors in debian (joe and ae come to mind).
AE(Antony's editor) is in the base system, so newbies could use that as
well ( if they know it exists).
> This newbie base, or 'sapper' as I called it, could be the 'bus stop'
> for the daunting experience of dselect (death select, for me many
> times).
I think the place to discuss this is debian-devel. Maybe you can propose
(and even volunteer for ;-) a meta-package debian-newbies which asks basic
questions (or try to guess) and install all the packages that newbie need
to start with debian (while I'm not sure that such a subset could be agreed).

I agree that dselect is intimidating, but now that I'm used to it I cannot
do without. Though I would appreciate features like the collapsing of 
sections in which I'm not interested.
I believe newbies would appreciate the possiblity of browsing only at
meta-package level, as other distros do.
I must say, however, that I first installed Debian ( after having failed 
twice)because it was the only distro that could fit my laptop crammed disk 
and let me room to work. An this was precisely because of the 'small 
granularilty' of the debian package system.

> regards
> guran

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