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Máirín Duffy 11-12-2010 03:19 AM

User Experience improvements for Anaconda
 
Hi,

In case you don't know me, my name is Máirín Duffy (mizmo in IRC) and
I'm the Fedora design team lead & an interaction designer with Red Hat.
I worked a bit with Chris and Peter before Fedora 12 came out to try to
improve Anaconda's UI for more specialized storage devices.

I'm very interested in improving Anaconda's user interface, and in
general Fedora's installation experience from beginning to end. One
thing we've worked on for the past two releases of Fedora is an improved
experience for downloading Fedora from the website. You may have noticed
the redesigned 'Get Fedora' pages with Fedora 13's launch, and the
redesigned Fedora main website released with Fedora 14's launch a couple
of weeks ago.

I think the next logical step is to examine the current state of our
installation process, identifying the issues we see today, and
brainstorming ways to improve the experience of installing Fedora.
Here's what we have so far towards this end:

- A wiki page to store links to discussions, record decisions, store
mockups, and any other data needed:
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/UX_Redesign

- There was a long thread on Fedora's devel list about improving the
installer experience.
(http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/devel/2010-October/144105.html ) There are some notes distilled from that thread on the UX_Redesign wiki page right now (although they'll probably need some more cleanup to be useful.)

- David put together some notes on the install experience for other
distributions: http://dcantrel.fedorapeople.org/installer-evals/

- James documented the supported installation methods tested in
Anaconda:
https://www.redhat.com/archives/anaconda-devel-list/2010-May/msg00305.html

- This week I created screen-by-screen walkthroughs of the Live Media
install process in F14
(https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/F14_Live_Media_Install ) and
the DVD install process as well
(https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/F14_DVD_Install ). I also put
together a comparison chart of the two methods -
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/UX_Redesign/Current_Install_Process_Analysis

- Today we had some conversation in #anaconda and I wrote that up as
well on that last wiki page:
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/UX_Redesign/Current_Install_Process_Analysis

I really want to help make our installation process an easy and pleasant
experience - so if you have any feedback on the above or ideas on how to
get there, let's talk about it. I think even bad or crazy ideas are good
brain food, and can lead to awesome innovation. I'm definitely planning
to put together some pretty crazy mockups to feed our brains so be on
the lookout for those. :)

Thanks,
~m


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Chris Lumens 11-12-2010 05:19 PM

User Experience improvements for Anaconda
 
> I really want to help make our installation process an easy and pleasant
> experience - so if you have any feedback on the above or ideas on how to
> get there, let's talk about it. I think even bad or crazy ideas are good
> brain food, and can lead to awesome innovation. I'm definitely planning
> to put together some pretty crazy mockups to feed our brains so be on
> the lookout for those. :)

Where's the best place to start discussion? I put a couple very brief
notes on the text of the wiki page itself (prefixed by "clumens sez:"),
but that was just for stupid little stuff. Do you want to talk here or
on the wiki Discussion tab?

- Chris

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Máirín Duffy 11-12-2010 05:35 PM

User Experience improvements for Anaconda
 
On Fri, 2010-11-12 at 13:19 -0500, Chris Lumens wrote:
> > I really want to help make our installation process an easy and pleasant
> > experience - so if you have any feedback on the above or ideas on how to
> > get there, let's talk about it. I think even bad or crazy ideas are good
> > brain food, and can lead to awesome innovation. I'm definitely planning
> > to put together some pretty crazy mockups to feed our brains so be on
> > the lookout for those. :)
>
> Where's the best place to start discussion? I put a couple very brief
> notes on the text of the wiki page itself (prefixed by "clumens sez:"),
> but that was just for stupid little stuff. Do you want to talk here or
> on the wiki Discussion tab?

Whatever is easiest for you folks. If the mailing list is easier, let's
just do that, and I'm happy to post brain dump summaries to the wiki. I
get email notifications when the wiki gets updated so I've seen all the
notes added so far (thanks, they are quite helpful :) )

~m

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Dennis Gregorovic 11-12-2010 05:54 PM

User Experience improvements for Anaconda
 
On Fri, 2010-11-12 at 13:35 -0500, Máirín Duffy wrote:
> On Fri, 2010-11-12 at 13:19 -0500, Chris Lumens wrote:
> > > I really want to help make our installation process an easy and pleasant
> > > experience - so if you have any feedback on the above or ideas on how to
> > > get there, let's talk about it. I think even bad or crazy ideas are good
> > > brain food, and can lead to awesome innovation. I'm definitely planning
> > > to put together some pretty crazy mockups to feed our brains so be on
> > > the lookout for those. :)
> >
> > Where's the best place to start discussion? I put a couple very brief
> > notes on the text of the wiki page itself (prefixed by "clumens sez:"),
> > but that was just for stupid little stuff. Do you want to talk here or
> > on the wiki Discussion tab?
>
> Whatever is easiest for you folks. If the mailing list is easier, let's
> just do that, and I'm happy to post brain dump summaries to the wiki. I
> get email notifications when the wiki gets updated so I've seen all the
> notes added so far (thanks, they are quite helpful :) )
>
> ~m

A related feature request that I am hoping to propose for F15 is
MultiSpin Installation. This is essentially the ability to have
multiple spins on the same ISO, using a single installable image. I've
started on the feature page but haven't gotten too far.

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/MultiSpinInstallation

I say that this is related to the use experience improvements in that
MultiSpin Installation would require a screen asking the user which spin
to install. We would want that screen to be considered in the design
work.

I don't want to hijack this thread, so if anyone has comments about
MultiSpin Installation not related to UI, let's start a new thread.

Cheers
-- Dennis

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Chris Lumens 11-12-2010 07:05 PM

User Experience improvements for Anaconda
 
> A related feature request that I am hoping to propose for F15 is
> MultiSpin Installation. This is essentially the ability to have
> multiple spins on the same ISO, using a single installable image. I've
> started on the feature page but haven't gotten too far.
>
> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/MultiSpinInstallation
>
> I say that this is related to the use experience improvements in that
> MultiSpin Installation would require a screen asking the user which spin
> to install. We would want that screen to be considered in the design
> work.
>
> I don't want to hijack this thread, so if anyone has comments about
> MultiSpin Installation not related to UI, let's start a new thread.

This is interesting stuff, and we should definitely talk about it
somewhere. Related to this, I've had the idea of moving from package
selection to spin selection working around in my head for a while now.
I think I was talking about that at last FUDCon. We might want to
combine efforts here.

- Chris

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John Reiser 11-14-2010 11:26 PM

User Experience improvements for Anaconda
 
On 11/11/2010 08:19 PM, Máirín Duffy wrote:
> I really want to help make our installation process an easy and pleasant
> experience

Anaconda takes too much time (a factor of 2 to 4) and too much RAM (a factor of 6 or 7.)
See this Request For Enhancement (RFE) from 2002:
RFE: 2X to 6X faster install via software pipeline and controlled memory footprint
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=71184

In the intervening eight years the speed has improved slightly,
while the space has become worse (today: minimum 512MB, usual 1GB.)

The same analysis still applies: pipeline the package installs for speed,
fork+no_exec+wait most logical operations in order to control address space.
The pipeline is (per .rpm):
1. fetch the file, removing the outermost layer of compression as it comes in
2. do everything else except the %post
3. %post [and cleanup if necessary]
Using such a pipeline, the 1193 packages for Internet Desktop (about 3.2GB on disk,
1.3GB on install media) could be installed in 5 minutes (32X CD or 4X DVD, 1GHz CPU,
384MB RAM, disk >= 20MB/s.) Only step 3 requires serialization of predecessors
(dependent packages); otherwise arbitrary parallelism is allowed. Even step 3
can be parallelized over the set of all the packages that have no remaining
predecessors at the same stage of topological sort.

-----

Yesterday I timed installing Fedora 14 x86_64 using 2.0GHz uniprocessor CPU,
3.3GB RAM, 50MB/s harddrive, 20X DVD reader, 4X DVD+RW or 16X DVD+R media.
I chose Custom harddrive configuration, and selected the same pre-partitioned
20GB slice. This is a workhorse desktop machine that is not young.

Installing Fedora 14 x86_64 LiveCD, 685MB recorded on 4X DVD+RW:
clock
mm:ss step
----- -----------------------
00:00 Autoboot in 8 seconds
01:15 completed (f) logo on splash/progress screen
01:55 Autologin
02:40 click Install to harddrive
03:05 format "/" (root) [20GB ext4]
04:30 copying live image to harddrive
06:15 post install
07:45 Congratulations! [done]
=======================================
2.145GB on disk in 3:15 [4:30 to 7:45] ==> 11 MB/s [barely adequate speed]


Installing Fedora 14 x86_64 DVD, 3.4GB recorded on 16X DVD+R;
Internet Desktop (default; 1193 packages):
clock
mm:ss step
----- -----------------------
00:00 boot
00:22 no media check
01:03 Fedora 14 splash screen
02:18 format "/" (root) [20GB ext4]
02:45 check package dependencies
03:06 transfer install image to harddrive
03:18 starting installation process
05:30 first package
19:50 last package
20:47 post install
20:51 Congratulations! [done] 3.3GB on disk
========================================
3.3GB on disk in 15:17 [5:30 to 20:47] ==> 3.6 MB/s [SLOW!]


Note that my timings are much different than those at:
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/UX_Redesign/Current_Install_Process_Analysis
which say 15 minutes for LiveCD, 1 hour for DVD. That DVD reader probably is
old, broken, or too cheap [is it on a laptop?]. My reader cost $25 two years ago.

--

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Ales Kozumplik 11-15-2010 07:52 AM

User Experience improvements for Anaconda
 
On 11/15/2010 01:26 AM, John Reiser wrote:

On 11/11/2010 08:19 PM, Máirín Duffy wrote:

I really want to help make our installation process an easy and pleasant
experience


Anaconda takes too much time (a factor of 2 to 4) and too much RAM (a factor of 6 or 7.)
See this Request For Enhancement (RFE) from 2002:
RFE: 2X to 6X faster install via software pipeline and controlled memory footprint
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=71184

In the intervening eight years the speed has improved slightly,
while the space has become worse (today: minimum 512MB, usual 1GB.)


The space will always be a problem because we have no swap available
until after partitioning. We have to store both the compressed (125 MB)
and uncompressed (300 MB) initrd.img in the memory. There's X, metacity,
gtk running, kernel itself takes some space and of course lvm (that even
used to lock that 100 MB locale archive in the memory). Plus we need
some margin so the system won't collapse during format when it tiptoes
around your existing logical volumes.


We could have anaconda try to use an existing linux swap partition very
early, but that's for another discussion (and still doesn't help people
who have a fresh machine or Windows)


Ales

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Martin Sivak 11-15-2010 08:16 AM

User Experience improvements for Anaconda
 
Hi,

Anaconda populates transaction with all required packages and invokes Yum backend. Package download and install are then done through Yum. I agree the install time and memory requirement could be lower, but it is mostly not on our side to fix.

--
Martin Sivák
msivak@redhat.com
Red Hat Czech
Anaconda team / Brno, CZ

----- "John Reiser" <jreiser@bitwagon.com> wrote:

> On 11/11/2010 08:19 PM, Máirín Duffy wrote:
> > I really want to help make our installation process an easy and
> pleasant
> > experience
>
> Anaconda takes too much time (a factor of 2 to 4) and too much RAM (a
> factor of 6 or 7.)
> See this Request For Enhancement (RFE) from 2002:
> RFE: 2X to 6X faster install via software pipeline and controlled
> memory footprint
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=71184
>
> In the intervening eight years the speed has improved slightly,
> while the space has become worse (today: minimum 512MB, usual 1GB.)
>
> The same analysis still applies: pipeline the package installs for
> speed,
> fork+no_exec+wait most logical operations in order to control address
> space.
> The pipeline is (per .rpm):
> 1. fetch the file, removing the outermost layer of compression as
> it comes in
> 2. do everything else except the %post
> 3. %post [and cleanup if necessary]
> Using such a pipeline, the 1193 packages for Internet Desktop (about
> 3.2GB on disk,
> 1.3GB on install media) could be installed in 5 minutes (32X CD or 4X
> DVD, 1GHz CPU,
> 384MB RAM, disk >= 20MB/s.) Only step 3 requires serialization of
> predecessors
> (dependent packages); otherwise arbitrary parallelism is allowed.
> Even step 3
> can be parallelized over the set of all the packages that have no
> remaining
> predecessors at the same stage of topological sort.
>
> -----
>
> Yesterday I timed installing Fedora 14 x86_64 using 2.0GHz
> uniprocessor CPU,
> 3.3GB RAM, 50MB/s harddrive, 20X DVD reader, 4X DVD+RW or 16X DVD+R
> media.
> I chose Custom harddrive configuration, and selected the same
> pre-partitioned
> 20GB slice. This is a workhorse desktop machine that is not young.
>
> Installing Fedora 14 x86_64 LiveCD, 685MB recorded on 4X DVD+RW:
> clock
> mm:ss step
> ----- -----------------------
> 00:00 Autoboot in 8 seconds
> 01:15 completed (f) logo on splash/progress screen
> 01:55 Autologin
> 02:40 click Install to harddrive
> 03:05 format "/" (root) [20GB ext4]
> 04:30 copying live image to harddrive
> 06:15 post install
> 07:45 Congratulations! [done]
> =======================================
> 2.145GB on disk in 3:15 [4:30 to 7:45] ==> 11 MB/s [barely adequate
> speed]
>
>
> Installing Fedora 14 x86_64 DVD, 3.4GB recorded on 16X DVD+R;
> Internet Desktop (default; 1193 packages):
> clock
> mm:ss step
> ----- -----------------------
> 00:00 boot
> 00:22 no media check
> 01:03 Fedora 14 splash screen
> 02:18 format "/" (root) [20GB ext4]
> 02:45 check package dependencies
> 03:06 transfer install image to harddrive
> 03:18 starting installation process
> 05:30 first package
> 19:50 last package
> 20:47 post install
> 20:51 Congratulations! [done] 3.3GB on disk
> ========================================
> 3.3GB on disk in 15:17 [5:30 to 20:47] ==> 3.6 MB/s [SLOW!]
>
>
> Note that my timings are much different than those at:
> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/UX_Redesign/Current_Install_Process_Analysis
> which say 15 minutes for LiveCD, 1 hour for DVD. That DVD reader
> probably is
> old, broken, or too cheap [is it on a laptop?]. My reader cost $25
> two years ago.
>
> --
>
> _______________________________________________
> Anaconda-devel-list mailing list
> Anaconda-devel-list@redhat.com
> https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/anaconda-devel-list

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Radek Vykydal 11-15-2010 12:11 PM

User Experience improvements for Anaconda
 
On 11/12/2010 05:19 AM, Máirín Duffy wrote:

I think the next logical step is to examine the current state of our
installation process, identifying the issues we see today, and
brainstorming ways to improve the experience of installing Fedora.



Hi Máirín,

here is some update on anaconda networking UI and repository UI
from my side.


1) network configuration/enablement:

I posted some patches integrating NetworkManger Applet
into anaconda. They follow addition of NetworkManager Connection Editor
in F14:

https://www.redhat.com/archives/anaconda-devel-list/2010-November/msg00144.html
(screencasts included)

The patchset is introducing (as a requirement) a panel which, I guess, would
change a lot about what we can and need to do wrt new anaconda UI design.

(It obsoletes my first attempt to bring functionality that NM Applet offers
into anaconda:
https://www.redhat.com/archives/anaconda-devel-list/2010-October/msg00201.html)


2) proposition of repository UI change:

https://www.redhat.com/archives/anaconda-devel-list/2010-September/msg00181.html
(with screencasts)

This is more FYI. I'm not very optimistic about this change going into
anaconda.

Probably the repo UI (and offered functionality) will be changed more
fundamentally.



- This week I created screen-by-screen walkthroughs of the Live Media
install process in F14
(https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/F14_Live_Media_Install ) and
the DVD install process as well
(https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/F14_DVD_Install ). I also put
together a comparison chart of the two methods -
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/UX_Redesign/Current_Install_Process_Analysis




Network configuration is missing there, which I understand as it has been
changing recently. I'd only note that in Live CD it is not available
because the configuration should be done within the Live CD (not inastaller)
environment. It complies with my last patchset using NM applet in panel
which would be started only in non-LiveCD case.


Radek

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John Reiser 11-15-2010 02:38 PM

User Experience improvements for Anaconda
 
On 11/15/2010 12:52 AM, Ales Kozumplik wrote:
> The space will always be a problem because we have no swap available
> until after partitioning. We have to store both the compressed (125 MB)
> and uncompressed (300 MB) initrd.img in the memory.

Using the cloop kernel device driver [Knoppix] would remove the need
to store the uncompressed initrd.img in RAM, saving almost 300MB.

--

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