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Old 11-21-2007, 12:52 AM
Jan Claeys
 
Default Our best foot forward

Op maandag 19-11-2007 om 19:50 uur [tijdzone -0500], schreef Patrick:
> The problem is it's not obvious to the first time user. I could carry
> out usability studies with friends and family but really I don't think
> anyone is ready to set up an nfs, ftp or samba server in the first
> 10-20 hours. A usability study beyond a few hours is not practical for
> family and friends.

Any service that opens one or more ports to the internet is a potential
danger to the security of the system, and taking your time to understand
how it works (at least up to some level) is an essential part of being
able to configure it properly IMNSHO.

That doesn't mean a GUI to configure services would be bad, but an
easy-to-use GUI will often make it easier to have an insecure system as
a result. Preventing this from happening is maybe possible, but
certainly not easy!


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Old 11-21-2007, 02:31 AM
Neal McBurnett
 
Default Our best foot forward

Patrick I've pulled some ideas of yours I like from two separate
posts:

On Mon, Nov 15, 2007 at 20:30:20PM, Patrick wrote:
> I think these are "configuration centric":
>
> 3)Question=I want to configure my NFS server
> Answer= manually edit configuration file or use dpkg-reconfigure -plow
> to launch configuration script.
>
> 4)Question=Why can't Totem play WMV files?
> Answer= for legal reasons we can't install the codecs by default. You
> will need to install them manually elsewhere.

> Synaptic can answer all the "package centric" questions but I don't
> see an easy solution for the new user for the configuration centric"
> questions. Having the dpkg-reconfigure option built into Synaptic
> would help a lot but it would not solve question #4. A utility to
> provide answers and helper scripts for configuration issues ad FAQs
> might be helpful. Somewhere facts such as Totem does not come with
> such and such codecs need to be expressed. There should be someplace
> simple for all of this to happen. It should not happen in the man
> pages and it would be nice if people did not have to search on the
> net for this information. I don't really know what to call it but
> perhaps a Q & A / interactive tutorial utility could provide quick
> guidance to new users. It could help them through these topics
> quickly and we could put our best foot forward.

On Mon, Nov 19, 2007 at 07:50:20PM -0500, Patrick wrote:

> I had a lot of trouble configuring services in the past, in particular
> my first one vsftpd, was hard as it was my first manual edit of a
> configuration file. I can now edit all kinds of these files. It's easy
> once you do one, an 8 year old could do this.
>
> The problem is it's not obvious to the first time user. I could carry
> out usability studies with friends and family but really I don't think
> anyone is ready to set up an nfs, ftp or samba server in the first 10-20
> hours. A usability study beyond a few hours is not practical for family
> and friends.
...
> If this is the market we are chasing then this is a big problem. The
> thing is Ubuntu is so much more then a way to surf the net and answer
> emails. Comparing Windows to Ubuntu is like comparing a glossy pamphlet
> to an encyclopedia with the front cover torn off. Ubuntu has content but
> it is not easy to find. There is enormous power in it. Ubuntu has saved
> my business lots of money and opened up all kinds of doors for me. It is
> perfect for business.
>
> We should be putting forth what Ubuntu can do that Windows cannot. It is
> the ability to set up so many services and customize so many things that
> makes it amazing. Most of this still needs to be done at the terminal
> though. People need to be able to use it's rich set of features without
> so much suffering.

The server team is working on a graphical configuration option for
hardy that I think will go a significant way towards addressing a
number of these issues for many users. It involves packaging and
enhancing the "ebox" web configuration utility so people can configure
their systems with a nice graphical environment over the web. They
can do it either from a local browser or from another machine.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/EboxSpec

It uses the web because we shouldn't require servers to have the huge
set of (potentially dangerous) packages that are needed for X11 and
Gnome or KDE.

Neal McBurnett http://mcburnett.org/neal/

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Old 11-21-2007, 02:43 AM
"Martin Owens"
 
Default Our best foot forward

> It uses the web because we shouldn't require servers to have the huge
> set of (potentially dangerous) packages that are needed for X11 and
> Gnome or KDE.

Those web configuration tools though, they're a bit podgy and the
designers tend not to have the widgets they need to do a good enough
job.

I'd like to see a tool or set of tools which was as equally able to
edit the localhost as it was to configure any machine you had ssh
access to. A toolbox like configuration would be nice, loading up a
machine, editing the right configs and queuing the restart or other
actions and then committing changes back to the server in one hit or
committing them to multiple machines.

Regards, Martin Owens

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Old 11-21-2007, 08:51 AM
Markus Hitter
 
Default Our best foot forward

Am 21.11.2007 um 02:52 schrieb Jan Claeys:

> but an easy-to-use GUI will often make it easier to have an
> insecure system as
> a result. Preventing this from happening is maybe possible, but
> certainly not easy!


I don't buy this argument. Well made GUI's contain a lot of
knowledge, more than what you can expect even from an experienced
user. Encouraging/enforcing a proper security policy isn't that hard
in a GUI (e.g. make a "-maproot=root" option blinking red) and very
likely enhances the average level of security. It's just a matter of
being conservative enough.


Markus

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dipl. Ing. Markus Hitter
http://www.jump-ing.de/





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Old 11-25-2007, 03:18 PM
Neal McBurnett
 
Default Our best foot forward

On Sun, Nov 25, 2007 at 01:46:03AM +0000, (``-_-) -- Fernando wrote:
> On Monday 19 November 2007 12:41:35 Sebastian Heinlein wrote:
> > Am Sonntag, den 18.11.2007, 08:34 -0500 schrieb Patrick:
> > > I see it now. I never noticed it there. Is there any reason it cannot
> > > also be placed under the right click too?-Patrick
> >
> > I don't think that this is a very often needed feature. We want to keep
> > the menu short.
>
> Still, I would vote to have it on the right click menu. I never saw it before, on the package menu.
> On a not so related topic, "Download Changelog" should have a keyboard shortcut!!!!

I agree that having "configure" and "download changelog" available via
the right-click menu would help people, and help folks that do
support. The alternative is people not noticing these standard ways
of getting information and doing configuration "The Ubuntu/Debian
Way". But I think these are just the sorts of things we want more and
more users to be aware of. Now, instead, people suffer with systems
that don't work the way they want, or hack configuration files by hand
in ways that are harder to upgrade.

Neal McBurnett http://mcburnett.org/neal/
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