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Old 06-21-2012, 01:53 AM
Máirín Duffy
 
Default Fedora GRUB2 boot menu, from design perspective

On 2012-06-20 03:24, Dan Mashal wrote:
To further add to my previous email, don't forget about your core
user

base. Since you are aiming for the "novice user" what happens to the
"expert/intermediate user base"?


Fedora's core user base is *not* a novice user, whether you mean a
novice to Linux or a novice to computers in general.


https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User_base

Fedora's target user is:

Voluntary Linux consumer (if you're a novice computer user and just
want things to work, you're not going to use Linux.)
Computer-friendly (if you're a novice computer user, you probably
have a level of fear, not friendliness towardsc omputers)
Likely collaborator (if you're a novice computer user, you likely
do not have the time or skill set to contribute)

General productivity user (aren't we all)


Do you just neglect them and they just accept all the changes you
make

in order to make Fedora more "Novice friendly"?*


No, you're arguing against a state of affairs that does not exist in
reality here.



Just shedding a different way of thinking on the matter. I respect
everyone's contributions I'm just making my own personal opinion and
voice heard since that what is so awesome about this community is
that

I can say how I feel and contribute my opinion while it may not be
taken as "Oh my god this guy is so right what were we thinking?" it's
definitely something to think about.


Actually a lot of thinking, time, effort, and research was put into the
construction of that user base statement and corresponding wiki page and
documents. I suggest very strongly, seeing your interest in the topic,
that you take a good look at the documents in that section of the wiki
and please feel free to come back with specific questions about that
document. I do think the fedora-advisory-board list would be a better
place for user base level discussions though, because the Fedora Project
board owns the definition of the target user base. Here on the design
team, we take that document as an input and use it as a tool to create
designs for Fedora.


Hope this helps,
~m
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:01 AM
Máirín Duffy
 
Default Fedora GRUB2 boot menu, from design perspective

On 2012-06-20 03:40, Dan Mashal wrote:>

"Oh btw in Fedora 18 you have to go to advanced boot options to boot
an older kernel now. Yeah I know, we've been able to do this for 20
years now since the dawn of time but they think it's better for
novice

users this way."


And one day I realized I am getting older. I can't pull all-nighters
anymore and hack on code. My parents don't take care of me anymore, I
have to make my own living, cook my own meals, and take care of my own
living space. I can't have as much Hello Kitty stuff without people
thinking I'm a little bit weird. I can't ride on some of the rides at
Disney World anymore because I'm too big.


Life is change. Change is progress. It may be progress towards old age
and an eventual death, sure, but the alternative - stasis - seems to me
to be a hellish and completely undesirable alternative. How many movies
and novels and other storylines have taken on the theme of a protoganist
who never dies or is ageless (Twilight, haha) and whose life is
miserable because they can never die, age, or change?


Change is the only way we can progress forward and innovate and make
life better. By the same logic, 'we've been able to do this for 20 years
now,' we would never have the television because we already had the
radio. We would never have HD TV because we would have already had NTSC.



Just 1 example of many things. You can't expect Fedora to be a distro
that you can really settle and get "used to" when it's constantly
changing.


All distros are constantly changing. Compare any distro's current
version to its version 4 releases ago. The entire Linux architecture is
changing (for the better, I'd add), and Fedora is an upstream-loyal
distro. If something is changed in how the kernel works, we are not
going to fork it just to prevent change.



I know this is the whole point of the whole distro, to be "bleeding
edge" and have the latest technologies in our awesome distro.


The point of our distro is not to be bleeding edge. We are not
interested in anyone bleeding or getting cut. We are interested in
making the latest all of our awesome upstreams are producing available
to a wider audience.


In my daily life I'm a sysadmin. Figuring out how to do something on
RHEL 5 vs RHEL 6 vs CentOS 5 vs CentOS 6 vs Fedora 13 Fedora 14
Fedora
15 Fedora 16 Fedora 17 Fedora 18 and what's different between each
and

every single one is annoying in every day life at work.


If you are a sysadmin, I can understand your attitude because if you
are good at what you do (and i'm sure you are) you highly prioritize
managing change and minimizing it as much as possible so systems don't
break and unexpected problems don't crop up so you get called up at 2 AM
to fix someting. Fedora is not meant for system administrators though.
Fedora is a desktop distribution and is not intended to be a server OS,
most certainly not as its primary or even secondary goal.


If your preference is a distro that minimizes change, might I suggest
CentOS, Goose Linux, or Scientific Linux?


"Oh yeah so dude on Fedora 17 they moved to systemd. That service
command doesn't work the same way and neither does chkconfig either
anymore. Sorry bro deal with it."


Fedora is not the only distro that adopted systemd. That is a Linux OS
architecture change much wider and further upstream than Fedora is.


~m
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:10 AM
Máirín Duffy
 
Default Fedora GRUB2 boot menu, from design perspective

Hi Kirk! I'm really happy to see you around here again

On 2012-06-20 11:03, Kirk Bridger wrote:

I'm not an expert user but I don't think I'm novice either.* I don't
see why we need to HIDE the older versions behind another menu, just
perhaps make it more clear that the old versions are still functional
but are not the latest on the machine.


Martin made a pretty compelling case as to why putting all the kernel
versions in the main menu is a bad idea.


Novice users have the "out" of saying "I don't know what this all
means but I know I want to launch the most current version".* And if
they're dropped back here after a failure or two trying the current
version they can try the older versions.


If novice users are dropped back to the bootloader after a crash, they
can go to the submenu labeled 'Troubleshooting' where (it at least was
intended, I don't remember how it actually went out) older kernels are
available. We definitely have to revisit this for F18 and kudos to Elad
for bringing it up.



This all assumes that we're limited to the current console-style
menu.* If we can use HTML/CSS or some other layout and styling we can
make this info much more parse-able with styling and different font
sizes/layout.* If we can do more than just console can someone send a
screenshot of what we can do, and maybe we can mock something up?


We are very limited in the bootloader environment. We're not in a full
OS, don't have full access to the GFX card or any of the niceities of a
full desktop environment. I don't know if it's possible to write
something that would operate off of HTML and CSS but that is certainly
less-than-trivial.


This is the theme I wrote up for F17 that was dropped at the last
minute because of QA concerns:

http://blog.linuxgrrl.com/2012/05/09/grub-2-theme-for-fedora-17/



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Welcome to Fedora 17 (BeefyMiracle)

CURRENT VERSIONS
Fedora 17 (kernel-3.6.0-1.fc17)

Superceded Versions
Fedora 17 (kernel-3.5.20-3.fc17)
Fedora 17 (kernel-3.5.20-2.fc17)
Fedora 16 (kernel-3.2.10-4.fc16)

OTHER OPERATING SYSTEMS
Microsoft Windows 7
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy to hear thoughts on this approach.

Maybe if the user installs a new kernel, the first time they reboot,
only the new kernel and the last known working kernel are shown, all
older ones archived behind a submenu.


The issue I have with the above mockup, which looks nice in the case
for which you designed it, is that Fedora overwhelms the menu and for a
user who is playing with Fedora on the side and who has to use Windows
or OS X as their primary OS (e.g., for work it's a requirement), it's a
bit of a real estate hog.


~m
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:19 AM
Máirín Duffy
 
Default Fedora GRUB2 boot menu, from design perspective

On 2012-06-20 15:39, Martin Sourada wrote:

IMHO not a bad idea. I have a few notes though:
* Fedora 16 and Fedora 17 should be considered separate operating
systems (*if* they use different root).


Yeh, this is a good point. The first time I looked at the mockup I
thought all the kernels were for Fedora 17, I wasn't really paying
attention. Different releases should be treated as different OSes, great
point +1


* Boot loader should behave look like boot-loader not like an
already

running operating system (the "Welcome to Fedora 17" text is
misleading)


This is a good point. We don't want to come off as a 'bad neighbor' to
other OSes on a computer. (Not that Windows overwriting our ability to
boot is neighborly or anything ;-) )



1. Dual booters -- Fedora and Windows (or Mac)
==============================================
These people probably just want to boot the latest version unless
something is broken. They might or might not know what the kernel
versions mean. It might be better to "hide" older kernels in submenu
(or if grub2 allows some better css-like way, why not?)


I would add that I think a lot of these users might have a boot of
Fedora or some other Linux just to try it, but they use OS X or Windows
as their primary OS. They are dipping their toes in the water but
haven't converted over yet. So they aren't going to want to fuss over
kernel versions or multiple Fedora entries, which might come off as
being rude to them.


2. *nix enthusiasts/developers -- multi-booters
==============================================
These people will probably have multiple operating systems installed,
maybe even various versions of fedora. Let's say they have (for
example)

Fedora Rawhide, Fedora 17, Debian 6.0, FreeBSD 9 and Arch Linux. They
know very well what kernel is, but if all installed kernels are
listed
there, the list gets rather large and it gets hard to quickly find
the

latest kernel. Especially for the two Fedoras that you can tell apart
only by the fc18 vs. fc17 in kernel release number... While it would
make selecting *older* kernel versions slower, I think it would be
better to *hide* the older kernels in submenu, thus making the main
menu easier to navigate. IMHO the gain of quicker selection of most
recent kernel for each release would outweigh the less frequent slow
down introduced by submenus.


+1 Although to be fair, this is a slowly dying use case as
virtualization gets better and better.


3. Massive virtualization
=========================
These people have only one host operating system, the rest is in
virtual machines. IMHO they are the only group that would *not*
benefit

from switch to sub-menus.


But it doesn't really hurt them all that much either. I'd say it's
pretty neutral given how infrequently even advanced users have to switch
between kernel versions of the same OS release.


IMHO, the gains to the first two groups outweigh the loss of the
third

group, but well, others might disagree. That's why we discuss things,
right?


I don't see the third being a loss, just a neutral kind of thing.


So how would the bootloader screen would look like?

----------------------------------------------------
Welcome to GRUB 2
Select an OS to boot:

* Fedora Rawhide (with linux-3.6.0-23.fc18)
* Fedora 17 (with linux-3.6.0-23.fc17)
* Debian 6.0 (with linux-2.6.28.3-23)
* Microsoft Windows 7
--------
* Fedora Rawhide (Rescue)
- older kernels listed in this submenu, and possibly some special
rescue mode(s)
* Fedora 17 (Rescue)
- older kernels listed in this submenu, and possibly some special
rescue mode(s)
* Debian 6.0 (Rescue)
- older kernels listed in this submenu, and possibly some special
rescue mode(s)
* Microsoft Windows 7
- if we can only chainload win 7, this would not make sense, however
if we could run rescue modes for win from grub, this where it
would

be.



Above the first Rescue line this looks clean and elegant to me.
However, while we can (maybe) control the string that Fedora spits out
to be as neat and clean as you've written up there, we can't control
other OS's spew. Microsoft's spew tends to be clean actually but other
Linux distros might spew out a lot of unnecessary details in their line
and it might be long enough as to get truncated and cause more confusion



(I don't know of a solution to other distro's bad behavior, but it is
something to be aware of in the design)


The Fedora Rawhide rescue line and below - that's a submenu? How do you
access it? (Just trynig to read your mockup properly here)


~m
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:24 AM
Máirín Duffy
 
Default Fedora GRUB2 boot menu, from design perspective

On 2012-06-20 16:27, Dan Mashal wrote:

Then maybe we should have a vote on it just like we did with release
names? Maybe we should do more voting on more major changes? Maybe we
should make it a full democracy instead of the engineering team
decides is "better for the novice user" when they don't even
communicate with the novice user.


Dan, I'd like to kindly and respectfully ask that you stop referring to
Fedora's target user as a 'novice' user. This is not Fedora's user base.
I have pointed this out to you in IRC in a private chat some days/weeks
ago and I have pointed this out to you earlier in the thread. Let's not
muddy the waters and confuse the conversation by continuing to bring
this up, as it's just not reflective of the reality of Fedora's actual
user base:


https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User_base

Let's try to refer to this more frequently so we can have a more
productive / fruitful discussion here, okay?


(BTW the user base was not determined by engineering or FESCO, it is
the purview of the Board and they came up with it.)


On your point about voting - we don't vote on decisions like this. We
are not elected officials on the design team like the governing bodies
of FESCO and FAMSCO and the Fedora Board, so we don't really have
authority to vote on decisions like that.


~m
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:30 AM
Máirín Duffy
 
Default Fedora GRUB2 boot menu, from design perspective

Hi Kirk,

On 2012-06-20 19:04, Kirk Bridger wrote:
1 - I think data should be collected before we make assumptions
about

our user base.


We need to take the user base as defined by the project board as a
given:


https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User_base

It wasn't determined lightly and it was researched and deliberated and
discussed throughout the community pretty carefully.



2 - I think categorizing is a better solution than hiding, as users
with lots of kernels/OSs are more likely to be switching more often,
vs users with just a few.* The value of reducing clutter is minimized
is clutter consists of 3-5 items, and hiding things makes it harder
to

do what you want to do.


Don't forget to consider, along with majority of users vs minority of
users, how frequently vs infrequently users will be:


- Switching OSes
- Switching kernels

I believe switching OSes is going to be more frequent for even the
Pokemon 'gotta catch 'em all' distro enthusiast than switching kernels
within each OS, and the mockup that Martin put together definitely
optimizes for switching OSes instead of switching kernels. The only user
I know of that realistically switches between specific kernels on any
kind of frequent basis is a kernel developer, and I haven't seen any
complaints or concerns from kernel developers about the change. That
being said, I can certainly reach out to a few and get some feedback
from them, but I think they probably - since their menu has so many
entries anyway - have highly customized grub conf files anyway so any
defaults are likely not to affect them.


3 - I think removing clutter is a good goal, provided it meets our
users needs (see comment #1)


+99 I'm glad we seem to be all on the same page about this part, we
just need to sort out more of the other details.


~m
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:40 AM
Dan Mashal
 
Default Fedora GRUB2 boot menu, from design perspective

Wow. I can't help but be impressed on the way you reply to every single concern brought up in this chain.


The only reply to you directly I have is in regards to the whole "target user base" thing is that I was just replying to the original mention of it. Never for a minute did I think that.


You are a wealth of information and a great asset to the community.


I appreciate the link to the "user base" wiki.


Thank you.


Dan

On Jun 20, 2012 7:24 PM, "Máirín Duffy" <duffy@fedoraproject.org> wrote:
On 2012-06-20 16:27, Dan Mashal wrote:


Then maybe we should have a vote on it just like we did with release

names? Maybe we should do more voting on more major changes? Maybe we

should make it a full democracy instead of the engineering team

decides is "better for the novice user" when they don't even

communicate with the novice user.




Dan, I'd like to kindly and respectfully ask that you stop referring to Fedora's target user as a 'novice' user. This is not Fedora's user base. I have pointed this out to you in IRC in a private chat some days/weeks ago and I have pointed this out to you earlier in the thread. Let's not muddy the waters and confuse the conversation by continuing to bring this up, as it's just not reflective of the reality of Fedora's actual user base:




https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User_base



Let's try to refer to this more frequently so we can have a more productive / fruitful discussion here, okay?



(BTW the user base was not determined by engineering or FESCO, it is the purview of the Board and they came up with it.)



On your point about voting - we don't vote on decisions like this. We are not elected officials on the design team like the governing bodies of FESCO and FAMSCO and the Fedora Board, so we don't really have authority to vote on decisions like that.




~m

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Old 06-21-2012, 04:32 AM
Kirk Bridger
 
Default Fedora GRUB2 boot menu, from design perspective

Hi Máirín,

Thanks for the link to the user base, that's actually new to me (or I've
forgotten about it) - a good resource.


I don't see any specific info that would help answer some of the
questions we've uncovered in this discussion. It would be great if we
could reach out to Fedora users to answer questions such as:


1 - How many operating systems do you typically have installed on your
main machine?


2 - How often do you use the ability to boot your machine into older
kernels? Other OSs?


3 - What causes you to boot into old kernels?

4 - How often do you select something other than the default in the boot
menu (i.e. grub2)



The questions might need some polishing, but those are the ones I can
pick off the top of my head. A quick survey might get some valuable
data here.


I'm not sure if there is an actual project waiting for our input here or
if we're just discussing things, so maybe we have some time to collect
some data?


I like the idea of relating the old kernels with the rescue concept. I
suspect you're right that most users don't use old kernels (is there an
auto-prune for this, like keep the last 3 kernels only?). They probably
only access those when something goes wrong with the latest kernel, like
in a rescue situation. I've had to access old kernels myself and I'm
certainly no developer, so the use case exists (I can't be the only one!?)


I guess the core of my concern is that we are cleaning up clutter for
users who don't mind the clutter, or actually want the clutter. I want
to avoid designing for ourselves by focusing on our actual user's needs
and tasks. Maybe I just lacked the knowledge about the user research
that has gone on prior to this discussion.


What are your thoughts on the need to collect some data from Fedora
users via a survey? Useful or redundant?


Thanks,

Kirk



On 06/20/2012 07:30 PM, Máirín Duffy wrote:

Hi Kirk,

On 2012-06-20 19:04, Kirk Bridger wrote:

1 - I think data should be collected before we make assumptions about
our user base.


We need to take the user base as defined by the project board as a given:

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User_base

It wasn't determined lightly and it was researched and deliberated and
discussed throughout the community pretty carefully.



2 - I think categorizing is a better solution than hiding, as users
with lots of kernels/OSs are more likely to be switching more often,
vs users with just a few. The value of reducing clutter is minimized
is clutter consists of 3-5 items, and hiding things makes it harder to
do what you want to do.


Don't forget to consider, along with majority of users vs minority of
users, how frequently vs infrequently users will be:


- Switching OSes
- Switching kernels

I believe switching OSes is going to be more frequent for even the
Pokemon 'gotta catch 'em all' distro enthusiast than switching kernels
within each OS, and the mockup that Martin put together definitely
optimizes for switching OSes instead of switching kernels. The only
user I know of that realistically switches between specific kernels on
any kind of frequent basis is a kernel developer, and I haven't seen
any complaints or concerns from kernel developers about the change.
That being said, I can certainly reach out to a few and get some
feedback from them, but I think they probably - since their menu has
so many entries anyway - have highly customized grub conf files anyway
so any defaults are likely not to affect them.


3 - I think removing clutter is a good goal, provided it meets our
users needs (see comment #1)


+99 I'm glad we seem to be all on the same page about this part, we
just need to sort out more of the other details.


~m
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:44 AM
Martin Sourada
 
Default Fedora GRUB2 boot menu, from design perspective

On Wed, 20 Jun 2012 22:19:59 -0400
Máirín Duffy wrote:

> The Fedora Rawhide rescue line and below - that's a submenu? How do
> you access it? (Just trynig to read your mockup properly here)
>
Yeah, they are supposed to be submenus, accessed by selecting, say,
Fedora 17 (Rescue) (or Troubleshooting, as you mentioned in another
mail). Do I make more sense now?

Martin
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:00 AM
Onyeibo Oku
 
Default Fedora GRUB2 boot menu, from design perspective

On Wed, 2012-06-20 at 19:40 -0700, Dan Mashal wrote:
> Wow. I can't help but be impressed on the way you reply to every
> single concern brought up in this chain.
>
> The only reply to you directly I have is in regards to the whole
> "target user base" thing is that I was just replying to the original
> mention of it. Never for a minute did I think that.
>
> You are a wealth of information and a great asset to the community.
>
> I appreciate the link to the "user base" wiki.
>
> Thank you.
>
> Dan

+50 :-)

Regards
Onyeibo

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