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-   -   The boot splash - time to think about it again (http://www.linux-archive.org/fedora-design-team/709874-boot-splash-time-think-about-again.html)

Elad Alfassa 10-05-2012 03:03 PM

The boot splash - time to think about it again
 
I really don't want to start this discussion again, but I clearly have no choice, as this is starting to become one of the only areas where we offer sub-optimal UX.

We have a problem with the default boot splash. It tries to convey progress but we don't have a good way to tell how far in the boot process we are (eg. if we do fsck or selinux relabel, it will appear stuck for some time, which is a bad user experience).

Since we don't have any actual progress data, using a progress indicator there is silly.

Few release cycles ago, the Desktop team wanted to change the boot splash to a minimalistic throbber. This does look better, but caused a lot of flamewars and stupid conspiracy theories on this list and the marketing list, and we vetoed the change.


The reason we (as a team) vetoed this decision was that the Fedora logo was not exposed anywhere in the OS. but since then, upstream GDM added a way for us to display the fedora logo on the login screen, and the boot process got way faster (and I'm going to try to convince people to optimize it further for Fedora 19 by default, because it is possible).

The fedora logo on the boot splash will only be seen for around 0.5 seconds on a modern machine, and before that there is the filling, meaningless and confusing bubble progress thing.

In Fedora 18, we added a feature called Offline System Updates, which means certain updates will be installed on reboot to decrease chances of things breaking. Some of them might take a while to install, and the current boot splash is not a good way to convey information about such a long process.


I suggest we replace it with a minimalistic throbber, perhaps a text indicating which release you are running (or simple words like "starting", "stopping", "restarting" and so forth). When there is a long process happening in the background, such as selinux relabel, fsck or package install, we should

1) Indicate this with a simple text (reminding the user not to force-off the machine to protect their data might be a good idea too)2) Show a simple progress bar (which will be less confusing than the bubble)


In my opinion, those changes will improve the Fedora user experience.
Yes, maybe 0.5 seconds of the logo that we all love so much will be gone, but, well... Fedora users already knows they are using Fedora, and the login screen shows that too.


And if you really, really want the logo to be there for those few seconds (despite everything I've said and despite the fact that not flashing a logo everywhere will not make Fedora to be less Fedora, our logo is just a logo - there are more basic things that makes us special and makes our users happy), we could put a small version of it in the top left corner, so it'll be not intrusive.


Thanks for reading this.
Opinions?
--
-Elad Alfassa.


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Matthew Miller 10-05-2012 03:21 PM

The boot splash - time to think about it again
 
On Fri, Oct 05, 2012 at 05:03:02PM +0200, Elad Alfassa wrote:
> We have a problem with the default boot splash. It tries to convey progress
> but we don't have a good way to tell how far in the boot process we are
> (eg. if we do fsck or selinux relabel, it will appear stuck for some time,
> which is a bad user experience).

Yeah, I've had that experience where secret-fsck made me think my computer
was broken.

> Since we don't have any actual progress data, using a progress indicator
> there is silly.

Can we _get_ actual progress data? Making that be meaningful seems better
than throwing the whole thing out. Discussion on fsck progress indicator
here:

http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/systemd-devel/2011-April/002063.html

Something similar could be done for relabel and any other long tasks which
might impede startup.

> And if you really, really want the logo to be there for those few seconds
> (despite everything I've said and despite the fact that not flashing a logo
> everywhere will not make Fedora to be less Fedora, our logo is just a logo
> - there are more basic things that makes us special and makes our users
> happy), we could put a small version of it in the top left corner, so it'll
> be not intrusive.

I think the logo should be prominent during the process. I don't care how.

--
Matthew Miller ☁☁☁ Fedora Cloud Architect ☁☁☁ <mattdm@fedoraproject.org>
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Camilo Mesias 10-05-2012 05:36 PM

The boot splash - time to think about it again
 
Hi,

I wonder if it's possible to keep track of time whilst booting, I feel
this should be possible even if accurate progress or even the amount
of work to complete is not known.

Maybe then there could be some weighted average of the time taken to boot.

This would allow a time based animation that shows true progress
(elapsed time) with reference to something meaningful (average boot
time).

It's not too hard to think of a visual representation of this,
movement of a logo along a timeline perhaps..?

-=(f)
----+----+----+----+----+----+----*----

(excuse my ASCII art attempt!)

-Cam
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Matthew Miller 10-05-2012 06:04 PM

The boot splash - time to think about it again
 
On Fri, Oct 05, 2012 at 06:36:56PM +0100, Camilo Mesias wrote:
> It's not too hard to think of a visual representation of this,
> movement of a logo along a timeline perhaps..?
>
> -=(f)
> ----+----+----+----+----+----+----*----

It occurs to me that there are some downsides to having an infinity symbol
for a logo. :)

--
Matthew Miller ☁☁☁ Fedora Cloud Architect ☁☁☁ <mattdm@fedoraproject.org>
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Mirn Duffy 10-05-2012 07:37 PM

The boot splash - time to think about it again
 
On Fri, 2012-10-05 at 17:03 +0200, Elad Alfassa wrote:
> Few release cycles ago, the Desktop team wanted to change the boot
> splash to a minimalistic throbber. This does look better, but caused a
> lot of flamewars and stupid conspiracy theories on this list and the
> marketing list, and we vetoed the change.

It wasn't a throbber, it was a progress + throbber.

~m


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Elad Alfassa 10-05-2012 07:45 PM

The boot splash - time to think about it again
 
On Oct 5, 2012 9:38 PM, "Mirn Duffy" <duffy@fedoraproject.org> wrote:

>

> On Fri, 2012-10-05 at 17:03 +0200, Elad Alfassa wrote:

> > Few release cycles ago, the Desktop team wanted to change the boot

> > splash to a minimalistic throbber. This does look better, but caused a

> > lot of flamewars and stupid conspiracy theories on this list and the

> > marketing list, and we vetoed the change.

>

> It wasn't a throbber, it was a progress + throbber.

If I recall correctly, it was just a throbber. I need to find that video again.

Fact is progress makes no sense for boot.

>

> ~m

>

>

> _______________________________________________

> design-team mailing list

> design-team@lists.fedoraproject.org

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Mirn Duffy 10-05-2012 08:09 PM

The boot splash - time to think about it again
 
On Fri, 2012-10-05 at 21:45 +0200, Elad Alfassa wrote:
> > It wasn't a throbber, it was a progress + throbber.
> If I recall correctly, it was just a throbber. I need to find that
> video again.
> Fact is progress makes no sense for boot.

Progress makes plenty of sense for boot if the boot involves a
long-running process like system updates or a relabel: those do not take
5 seconds. In fact, on my Intel M5 SSD, on an Intel i7 system with 8 GB
of RAM, normal boot of Fedora 17 takes a bit longer than 5 seconds. We
used to have throbbers in anaconda (in the form of the gtk
bounce-back-and-forth / 'cylon eyes' progress bars) for long-running
processes and received a bunch of actual complaints about it, because
people had no idea how long they were expected to wait and how far along
it had gone.

It's really unfair for you to be placed as the middleman in something so
historically contentious. It would be preferable if the folks involved
would be willing to come here and make an actual case and lead a
discussion, including the problems they are looking to solve (we've had
the same plymouth splash for many releases now and I've never seen a
single complaint about it.) When a design is complete, it's too late -
we need real collaboration and communication so others can participate.
Waiting to force things or throw them over the wall when it's too late
is not being a good community player.

Certainly, though, willfully ignoring the governance of this team,
behaving like a child in IRC, and basically failing to initiate any sort
of communication to this team isn't going to be nearly as effective as
a mature and reasoned discussion that is respectful of the project's
governance.

~m

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Martin Sourada 10-05-2012 09:14 PM

The boot splash - time to think about it again
 
Hi Mo,

On Fri, 05 Oct 2012 16:09:22 -0400
Mirn Duffy wrote:
> (we've had the same plymouth splash for many releases now and I've
> never seen a single complaint about it.)
unless I missed a change in the defaults, what you say here is obviously
not true:
http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.linux.redhat.fedora.artwork/11725

And yeah, my position stands still the same. Spinfinity looks *much*
nicer.

As for Elad's original question -- that the boot will take 0.5s on
hyper-super-"awesomest"-modern hardware means practically nothing.
You cannot count on your average user to have that. I have a machine
able to play "easier" 720p h.264 videos, still the boot takes tens of
seconds at the very least in F17 (haven't measured it lately, it used
to be around 1 minute, and the speed-up does not seem very
significant). Furthermore, if a reboot's going to be occasionally
long, we still need to show something that will not make the user think
his OS is from the 90s...

And yeah, some way of showing a progress is needed, as long as it's
meaningful (we *need* a way for a user that the [re]boot is taking long
because it's fscking, installing updates, re-labelling, whatever; and
not because something went wrong -- whenever we can).

Cheers,
Martin
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Elad Alfassa 10-05-2012 09:26 PM

The boot splash - time to think about it again
 
On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 11:14 PM, Martin Sourada <martin.sourada@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Mo,



On Fri, 05 Oct 2012 16:09:22 -0400

Mirn Duffy wrote:

> (we've had the same plymouth splash for many releases now and I've

> never seen a single complaint about it.)

unless I missed a change in the defaults, what you say here is obviously

not true:

http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.linux.redhat.fedora.artwork/11725



And yeah, my position stands still the same. Spinfinity looks *much*

nicer.



As for Elad's original question -- that the boot will take 0.5s on

hyper-super-"awesomest"-modern hardware means practically nothing.

You cannot count on your average user to have that. I have a machine

able to play "easier" 720p h.264 videos, still the boot takes tens of

seconds at the very least in F17 (haven't measured it lately, it used

to be around 1 minute, and the speed-up does not seem very

significant). Furthermore, if a reboot's going to be occasionally

long, we still need to show something that will not make the user think

his OS is from the 90s...



And yeah, some way of showing a progress is needed, as long as it's

meaningful (we *need* a way for a user that the [re]boot is taking long

because it's fscking, installing updates, re-labelling, whatever; and

not because something went wrong -- whenever we can).



Cheers,

Martin


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The boot will never take 0.5s, but the actual amount of time we show the Fedora logo itself is the split second when the boot is over and the display manager is starting up. uptill then it's just a bubble filling in white.


I think that progress does make sense only when we have long running tasks, but then we need to actually get selinux and fsck developers to make their software provide us with progress information. If they do that, and we have a reliable method of figuring out how to handle this, a progressbar for the overall boot progress when there's a relabel running will appear "stuck" because the relabel is just another thing running... I suggest either throbber+progress bar for long operations or two progress bars, one for long operation and the other for the overall boot progress.


Mo, me opening this thread doesn't have much to do with the incident to which you refer. I opened this thread mostly because I think that the charge theme is not fitting to indicate progress and will look odd when software updates are installing, and if we want to change it we also want consistency.



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-Elad Alfassa.


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Mirn Duffy 10-05-2012 10:34 PM

The boot splash - time to think about it again
 
On Fri, 2012-10-05 at 23:26 +0200, Elad Alfassa wrote:

> Mo, me opening this thread doesn't have much to do with the incident
> to which you refer. I opened this thread mostly because I think that
> the charge theme is not fitting to indicate progress and will look odd
> when software updates are installing, and if we want to change it we
> also want consistency.

The discussion is moot if the person implementing it is not here and
participating.

~m

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