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Re: Dear Debian Maintainers (usability)

On Tue, Jun 08, 2004 at 04:19:32PM +0200, J. Preiss wrote:
> > dpgk-reconfigure is only required if you want to reconfigure a
> > package. Packages remember the initial configurations so you need to
> > configure them on upgrade only if a configuration option changed.
> The problem is that everything is within a package, but the relations are not 
> always clear (console-common is not really what I expected).

You are right there, afraid no easy solution. using aptitude search
(look at the man page for various options on searching different
sections) or apt-cache search will usually get you there, otherwise,
this is one of the reasons the list exists. (or synaptics for gui, I
think there is also something else).

For example either of the following
aptitude search console
apt-cache search console config

 produces among other things:

    console-common - Basic infrastructure for text console configuration                            

A lot of time google can help also.

> > Locales have nothing to do with the keyboard. They control how things
> > are displayed on screen. I don't know how to change keyboard in the
> > console (I think console-tools or something like that), in X its in the
> > XF86Config-4 file, using a variety of graphical configurators (very
> > little experience with them I'm afraid), or using the gnome/kde
> > keyboard switchers. Tell me what you want to set and we'll find out how.
> Isn't that the problem at all: sure, gimme enough time and I find out 
> everything :-) You know, I reinstalled my pc, replaced suse by debian in the 
> hope, that after a few hours I can continue work. That was wrong just because 
> of so small things... keyboard layout, display charsets, mounting options... 
> It is ok that you can specify each little peace that you want, but in this 
> case you even *must*. 

Thats true, some things are harder/easier then others. Locales can be a
problem for people new to linux, although IIRC the kde setup has
something on these when you first start kde.

Changing the keyboard through X (xkb) is a bit more advanced (IIRC some
if the gui X setup programs help you with that) but thats why both kde
and gnome include the keyboard switching applets by default.

> A menu which handles the calls for dpkg is urgently needed.

Thats right, setup menus and utilities are not one of debian's strong
points since when people get to the point when they can contribute it
usually isn't the part that bothers them.

Hopefully it will be the next project after the installer ;-)

> > Where does X fail and what version? hopefully we can help you start it
> > up.
> Its in two other threads: changing default display mgr and trouble installing 
> kde.

When you install a display manager it asks you if you want to set it to
the default (kdm,xdm,wdm and gdm), window managers are more of a
problem but at least gdm and kdm give you a menu to choose between them.

> > IIRC the installation process allows you to set that. Otherwise the
> > settings are in /etc/network/interfaces. I am sure that there is a gui
> > that does that but don't know any.
> No, installation did not allow me to change it. Maybe because a dhcp-server 
> was found (?)

When I used the new beta installer it asked me for an IP address or
whether to use dhcp in the network setup part, maybe the older version
doesn't, although at least if you install through the network it should.

> > All these exist in unstable (and its not as unstable as its sounds. I am
> > also using a lot of stuff even from experimental and the system is very
> > stable).
> Mmmh... you can specify for each packages where it hast to come from 
> (stable/testing/unstable)? 

You can use apt pinning to specify for each package although it can be
a serious pain to mix stable with unstable,
testing/unstable/experimental can be mixed.

Personally I prefer unstable while keeping the experimental line in to
manually solve some dependency issues cause sometimes with package
upgrades (waiting a few days with the upgrades is another solution, I
added experimental originally for X 4.3 when it was still only in
experimental and just left it in). I don't like testing, its mostly a
collection place for things when creating a new stable distribution
more then something destined for everyday use. It also is slow in
getting security updates or fixes to problems.

> > The new things will never be in stable (maybe except for the couple of
> > months following release until they get updated).
> Stable is too old for a desktop system, anyway. 
> Should I change to unstable or is there another way to get it in testing?

I would go for unstable personally but there seems to be some dispute
in that matter.

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