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Old 09-12-2012, 03:19 PM
steef
 
Default Installation

On 11-09-12 22:17, Lisi wrote:


Since Squeeze I think that Debian has removed itself from this market. The
main repository and kernel contain only FLOSS software. I.e. many drivers
are missing and have to be separately installed. This is beyond a total
newbie, and I think could not be rendered easily attainable by attaching a
set of instructions. So sadly, I have come to the conclusion that I must
recommend e.g. Linux Mint if any newbie who wishes to self-install were to
ask me for my opinion.

<.................>

Lisi




dear lisi,

i do not agree or at the best partly. i have not yet forgotten the days
of potato and/or woody when i had to chooese and install the
internetdrivers etc. etc. after that installing debian became much more
simple in my humble opinion. even so simple that many of the earlier
users were afraid debian developped direction windows (which it did not)
and moved on to bsd. (i still have a bsd distro on one of my hd's)


so, allthough i am biased by the use of debian over many years, i think
i kept enough objectivity to conclude that an interested any/somebody
can install debian without any trouble at all and taste the richness of
this distro.


with the kindest regards,

steef


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Old 09-12-2012, 03:40 PM
lee
 
Default Installation

"Weaver" <weaver@riseup.net> writes:

> I wouldn't classify partitioning as a 'tiny little detail.'

It is one of the many tiny little steps the installer does.

> Neither would the average end user.

What are you trying to say?

> Along with the file system, it's the basis of any system.

We could argue about that.

> Try installing without it and you'll see what I mean.

I've done that. You can have everything on one partition or go without a
partition and use a device "directly".

> And I don't think its helpful to classify the average end user as a
> 'totally clueless user'.
> They haven't had the opportunity, until after they have installed, of
> becoming anything else.

What are you trying to say? That someone is totally clueless before they
have learned more, and that realising this isn't helpful?

> First people have to be able to
> install a system before they become familiar with it.

People become familiar with a system before or without installing it all
the time.

> Without the speed bumps getting removed, we have a very small potential
> future pool of users, advocates, doc writers, maintainers and developers.

Speed bumps?

>> Have you thought about all the things you would have to explain to the
>> clueless user to enable them to decide what partitioning they want?
>> Partitioning involves RAID and lvm,
>
> No it doesn't!
> Those are options that they can look at further down the line when they
> are more familiar with the territory.

Sure it does. RAID is a requirement since about 10 years now because
hard disks have become too unreliable to go without. Lvm isn't required,
though it can be required for the installer to work. You should know
about it before installing Debian so you can make an educated decision
about the partitioning you want to use.

> it involves file systems
>
> I have already covered this also.

Have you? Did you propose to inform people about the advantages and
disadvantages of different file systems they can use? That makes for a
lot they will have to read.

> and what
>> the computer is going to be used for;
>
> That is something that can be left to apt/aptitude/synaptic once the
> installation is over and they have had some time to choose what they want.
> That's free software.

So do you want your clueless users have to change their partitioning
after the installer has booted them into the installed system (at which
point the installation isn't completed, keep that in mind)? Do you want
the package managers to make guesses about how a computer is being used
depending on what packages are installed and modify them so that they
perform such changes?

> it involves installing a boot
>> loader somewhere,
>
> That is something that you can just press 'enter' to.
> Grub-pc installation is automagic.

No you can't. Letting aside that you will be asked where it should be
installed, I've seen it not working at all many times.

> and it might involve other operating systems and/or
>> virtual machines that are or will be installed on the same computer. It
>> involves considering the kind of available storage devices since you
>> might want to use an SSD for a different purpose than your conventional
>> hard disk, and you might want to put some things on the faster disks you
>> have rather than on the slower ones and deciding where to put your swap
>> partitions. It involves considering reliability issues and backup
>> strategies --- and probably a lot more I'm too lazy to think of. And
>> what if something doesn't work?
>
> We appear to have wandered completely away from newbie territory, Doctor
> Livingstone!

Then your conclusion must be that partitioning cannot be done by your
newbie.

>> If you think you can explain all that to the clueless user in 10 or 20
>> lines of 80cpl text you can put into the installer with a chance of the
>> clueless user reading them, I'd like to see what you'd put in. Just
>> don't dumbfound the user by putting some nonsense and unhelpful
>> blah-blah into it that doesn't even touch the point like the so-called
>> "documentation" does that you get with windoze.
>
> I think we can all agree that none of this is required in this context.

You are the one proposing to put information into the Debian installer
which enables clueless users to make educated decisions about
partitioning during the installation. I have pointed out a few things
that need to be considered in this context, and you claim considering
them isn't necessary. Sure someone can make a decision about
partitioning without considering everything that needs to be
considered. That won't be an educated decision, though, and very likely
not a good one.

You haven't even started yet to point out what you think is necessary to
consider to make a decision about partitioning.

>> Keep in mind that partitioning isn't the only part of the installation
>> process. Maybe you now understand why I'm suggesting that deciding about
>> the partitioning is something to be done /before/ the installation
>> rather than something to be decided by a clueless user who's stuck
>> without a working computer somewhere in the installation process. If
>> that user has to ask "What is partitioning?", they are at the wrong
>> place.
>
> Not if the information is there.

And you think they would spend a day or two or however long it takes
them to understand all the information while being stuck in the Debian
installer with a simple question they should know the answer to before
they start the installer? I guess you say they shouldn't need to know
the answer. I say they should know the answer (and a lot of other things
as well) before starting the installer. I also say it might be better to
give those who don't know anything a working system so that they don't
need to know and can use that working system to find out more if they
want to --- *if* you really want clueless people to have such a thing,
which I really don't want them to have unless they are capable of
learning a lot and do learn. Most people don't. Not everything is for
everyone.

What you have been totally ignoring so far is that different people have
different ways of learning. It's hard to understand that lots of people
do not learn by reading documentation and by maybe trying out
things. They need a teacher, or they need pictures, or they need to
learn in a totally different order than any you might think of ---
whatever suits them best. How do you propose that the Debian installer
shall be modified to accommodate all the possible different ways of
learning?

>>>> For more than a decade now you need a working computer to install an
>>>> operating system on another one so that you can acquire information and
>>>> additional software as needed. Why isn't that included in the
>>>> installer?
>
> I've never needed more than the one I've got.
> I have needed an internet connection.

You can get away with that if everything works fine and nothing
unforeseen happens. That usually isn't the case when installing
Debian. Anyway, even if someone doesn't need a working computer to
install an OS on one, it's better to have one in case it's needed. So
give it to everyone on the Debian installer DVD/blueray. You don't have
to use it.

>>>> For those who don't want to or are unable to learn, have a button they
>>>> can press to perform the installation, no matter what and no questions
>>>> asked. However, those are the kind of people who better stay away from
>>>> computers, which makes it doubtful how useful such a thing would be.
>>>
>>> That is not what is being advocated and I don't see the relevance with
>>> Debian either.
>>
>> Well, that is your imagination of users educating themselves about how
>> their computer and the software works. Why don't you want to give such
>> users a working system that, besides other advantages, allows them to
>> educate themselves as thoroughly as they see fit while or even before
>> they install Debian on their computers? Why don't you want to give users
>> who don't want to educate themselves the option to simply press a button
>> and as a result have Debian installed on their computers so that they
>> can do whatever they want?
>
> Because I believe that the best way to climb a ladder is at the first step.
> After that, it's up to the individual user to decide as to whether they
> are high enough or not. Most (90%) just want a working system, but how
> many potential developers are put off by an initial first step?

Why do you insist that the first step for everyone must be using the
Debian installer to install Debian on their computer? That doesn't make
sense to me, and there are many other possibilities. --- From what
you've been saying, it wasn't the first step for you. It wasn't the
first step for me, either.

When it comes to install Debian --- or to climbing a ladder to some
purpose --- there are steps that come /before/ placing your foot on the
first step of the ladder. You need to figure out whether a ladder is the
right tool for the job or not, then get one, then place the ladder in
such a way that it is sufficiently unlikely to trip over when you climb
it, then you grab the tools or whatever you're going to need when you
reach the top of the ladder. The day before you may have made sure that
you have health insurance and checked the weather forecast because you
don't want to repair the roof while it's raining. You have checked that
you have the necessary tools and/or materials ready because you don't
want to climb the ladder up just to find out that you have to climb down
again and take an hour to go to town to get what you need. Even if you
don't mind getting wet, the roof can be slippery from the rain and you
may want to adjust the kind of shoes you're wearing or wait for better
weather if you don't want to fall off the roof and break your neck. You
may have asked a neighbour to keep an eye open in case you fall off the
roof and they need to call an ambulance --- a simple precaution that may
save your life.


You're right, though: You're setting your foot on the first step of
something without having thought anything about it through at all. I can
clearly see you doing it in this discussion. Pure enthusiasm like this
can be successful in some cases, and it doesn't tend to get you anywhere
you want to be. It's a way to make mistakes that could have been
avoided. Sometimes there's no other reasonable option, and I don't like
such cases very much.

> Why are other Debian-based distributions so obsessed with the installer?

I don't know --- you'll have to ask them, not me.

>> You can advocate dumbfounding users by putting a few lines of text into
>> the installer.
>
> Ummmm, no, I haven't advocated that anywhere.
> The whole concept behind those 'few lines of text' is to remove the
> 'dumbfounding' factor.

Sorry, "dumbfounding" was the wrong the word. I wanted to say "make
stupid".

>> I hate dumbfounding users like that, and that some users

That should be "I hate making user stupid ...".

>> want to be dumbfounded doesn't mean that I have to do or to propose
>> it. What you propose is contradictory to what you seem to want, which is
>> something you probably haven't realised yet. I'm telling you that there
>> is another option which I think is much better, and you want to totally
>> ignore it and accuse me of distorting things (lmao).
>>
>> So why did you bring this topic up for discussion when you don't want to
>> discuss it? You seem to have already decided what you want, and nobody
>> prevents you from doing it. Don't expect me or someone else to tell you
>> that you should do it. I'm telling you that you shouldn't.
>
> I would go along with anything you said if it was based on something other
> than confused, emotive rhetoric to the point that I could understand it.

Well, I can't help you when you can't understand what I'm saying
(provided that I manage to use the right words).

> All I am advocating is a small advisory page prior to the partitioning
> section of the installer.
> You are advocating - everything!

You're advocating to make or keep users stupid by giving them
insufficient information. It's a way of getting rid of exactly those
users you seem to want to attract because users who don't want to remain
clueless hate it when they are being kept stupid.

For users who don't want to remain clueless, give them all the
information. Don't limit these users to what you can put into the
installer! Give them a working system before they install Debian on
their computer so they can get more information about anything they want
to know. Help them by telling them what they might want to know ---
because one problem when you don't know anything is that don't even know
what you might need to know. I have pointed out a few things which is
reasonable to look into before deciding about partitioning. --- A
working system before installing would be great to have for non-clueless
users as well, as I have pointed out.

The users who want to remain clueless or who don't have a choice can't
be helped. Some people just don't get along with computers, and trying
to make them is the wrong approach.

Who do you think you are that you think you can decide what someone
needs to know to partition their hard disks? Let users decide what they
want to know themselves. You can help them by giving them something that
gets them started, not by giving them something that limits them and
keeps them stupid. You got suggestions to that which you deny, your only
argument being your assumption that it's too much for them, which even
contradicts your imagination of users venturing out to learn more. It's
not your decision to make how much information is too much for someone.

So now, what do you suggest to actually put into the installer?


--
Debian testing amd64


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Old 09-12-2012, 03:45 PM
lee
 
Default Installation

"Weaver" <weaver@riseup.net> writes:

> On Tue, September 11, 2012 7:43 am, lee wrote:
>> "Weaver" <weaver@riseup.net> writes:
>>
>>> On Mon, September 10, 2012 8:19 am, Chris Bannister wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Agreed. But the person who wants to install Debian is not the average
>>>> end/home user.
>>>
>>> Exactly, but that's the majority market and I don't see anything wrong
>>> woth aiming for that.
>>
>> Now that is distorting the discussion, isn't it?
>
> No, it isn't.
> Why the average end user tries to install Debian and gives up, or doesn't
> even try in the first place, is because a lack of knowledge creates
> uncertainty and doubt and, in the end, rejection.
>
> I am advocating the elimination of that lack of knowledge.

You said you want the discussion centred around what happens when a
clueless user uses the Debian installer and is presented with a question
about partitioning.

Now you're talking about increasing the market share of Debian. That is
a totally different issue.


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Old 09-12-2012, 03:54 PM
lee
 
Default Installation

"Weaver" <weaver@riseup.net> writes:

> There is a stage where the installer asks for contrib and non-free apt
> list inclusions.
> It would probably be best to incorporate this as a default in a newbie
> install.
> Perhaps a note to explain this could be incorporated - 'If you are new to
> open source free software, we recommend that you accept this option'- or
> something along those lines might be appropriate.

Or it might not be appropriate because someone installs Debian because
they want free software.

This is an example of how to keep users stupid. Instead, point them to
resources discussing the issue and perhaps make it no more difficult
than pressing Enter for a web browser to show up so they can read about
it and maybe then use their favourite search engine to find out more.


Besides, what is "open source free software"? That's a question a
clueless and an even not-so-clueless user might have.


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Old 09-12-2012, 05:33 PM
Camaleón
 
Default Installation

On Wed, 12 Sep 2012 02:10:31 +0200, lee wrote:

> Camaleón <noelamac@gmail.com> writes:
>
>> On Tue, 11 Sep 2012 18:28:18 +0200, lee wrote:
>>
>>> Camaleón <noelamac@gmail.com> writes:
>>>>
>>>> In my planet, yes. Everybody I know uses Windows (starting from my
>>>> mother and ending with my company partners).
>>>
>>> That someone uses it doesn't mean that they are able to fix problems.
>>
>> The simply usage (by pure definition) confers the user some degree of
>> expertise and while it may not generate "Windows geniuses" it will
>> allow at least some basic control about how an operating system works.
>
> Windoze is designed to take away the users control of everything as much
> as possible. Most people using it don't care about how things work or
> anything related to that. If they did, they wouldn't want to have
> windoze on their computers ... They just want the software running they
> think they need, and when you even change the look of an icon they are
> in major trouble because they don't know anymore what button to press.
> That's "usage", they act like robots programmed to press the right
> buttons at the right time. They are not able to fix any problems. If it
> gets too bad, they re-install and start over from scratch.

The above can be true for, let's say ~25%, of the Windows users so
there's still a good amount of people with an average knowledge of their
systems (in Windows parlance, "power users").

>>>> Today, most of the user-friendly Linux distributions you can find out
>>>> there (Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, Debian...) are as easier to install
>>>> and deal with as can be Windows or MacOS in the event they all have
>>>> to be installed from scratch.
>>>
>>> My experiences with that are very different.
>>
>> In what way?
>
> It can be ridiculously difficult to install Debian.

(...)

When it comes to an OS, installation process can be considered
irrelevant. The real problems starts afterwards.

> For the clueless user, it would have been impossible to install it.

The same goes for a clueless Windows user if he/she needs to install the
required drivers to handle the RAID. Or do you thinks this is different
for them?

> I've seen broken Debian installers that couldn't find packages. I've had
> installer CDs that couldn't be read for some reason, so I had to drive
> an hour to the place I worked at to make a new ones and drive an hour
> back.

And I've seen BSOD Windows at the installer which was not able to detect
the storage controller driver. And also printers that cannot be used
because the manufacturer did not provide the 64-bits driver because a 4-
years old device is considered "obsolete" and thus unsupported.

> I've seen not totally clueless windoze users sitting with me in front of
> their computer, looking at the Debian installer and asking me "How do
> you know which keys to press?". It's a totally valid question. I just
> know which keys to press, the clueless user doesn't. How are they
> supposed to know?

To my eyes, clueless windows users are the same than clueless linux
users. What differs them is not the OS but their attitude (how they
confront the problem).

>>> It's the other way round. People using windoze don't know how to fix
>>> problems, they live with them.
>>
>> It will depend on the problem because some problems cannot be avoided:
>> you solve it or you're completely hosed because your system is not able
>> to start :-)
>
> Just re-install and start from scratch, that's what everyone does. That
> you have to do that all the time is one of the reasons why I'm not using
> it.

No sir, a hardware problem cannot be solved by reinstalling the OS: the
problem will be there after you reinstall ;-)

>>> Then look around for solutions to problems you can have with Linux,
>>> and you will find lots of answers and even solutions.
>>
>> And more problems, unsupported hardware, outdated applications...
>
> More problems? I don't know about that.

(...)

I wonder how many bugs have you reported and how of them has been
solved ;-)

> You can even get bugs fixed the next day on a weekend when you report
> one.

You have to be kidding... unless, of course, you are talking about
security fixes or problems for customers that have expressly paid for
support.

> What commercial software has support that good?

That will depend on what you can afford.

> You have the source code, too, so you can even fix them yourself.

You need to be a programmer. And some key packages are not open source
(like the nvidia or fglxr drivers).

> Unsupported hardware, yes, you have to be picky about what you buy ---
> which isn't bad because you avoid crappy hardware which is too likely
> to give you problems to be worth it.

Don't expect a newbie is going to know about that. They will only buy
what it simply fits to their requirements.

> Outdated applications? Yes, some packages in Debian are rather old. So
> I got emacs and fvwm and compiled them myself; how more recent can you
> get?

Again, don't expect a newbie to compile their own packages. I'm a long
time linux user and rarely do...

>>> It's not about finding helpful people. It's what people have been made
>>> to believe.
>>
>> I don't think so. Windows and Linux are both having their own pros and
>> cons, and of course, both do have problems of different nature but
>> problems you have to solve in the end. There are no trouble-free OSes.
>
> People believe that they can solve problems they have with windoze and
> don't believe they can solve problems they have with Linux, and they
> believe they don't have problems when they have a Mac.

Again, it's all around user's attitude.

>>> I've made the same experience, except that I don't use windoze unless
>>> I get payed for it. Nobody solves problems with windoze.
>>
>> Maybe is that you haven't searched enough. Indeed there are many
>> forums, mailing lists and helpful people out there that will try to fix
>> your issues (have you ever heard about Microsoft MVP?)
>
> I searched long enough. MVP? Maybe they didn't have that when I was
> looking. It still doesn't mean that problems can be fixed.

There should be something like the Microsoft's MVP in the Linux
ecosystem, it would be great. And you only have type your problem at the
Google search box and yu'll get thousand hits, lists, forums, blogs and
posts with a solution for your issue as well as many official resources
you can query (Microsoft's KB).

>> The average joe user has developed some skills on Windows.
>
> Some have found out how to live with the problems, yes. I don't call
> workarounds or living with the problems a solution to the problems.

Some have solved their problems. Others have found workarounds and there
will be people that simply could not find a solution and had to go to any
of the thousand tech support assistance points for an expert to deal with
their issues. Should you have a linux system installed, you won't find
many tech. supportes in the real world.

>> Clueless people is not what I'm afraid of. Clueless people who want to
>> remain at their ignorant state perpetually and expect the others solves
>> their problems is what makes me shiver :-)
>
> The clueless people who think they aren't clueless are far worse.

But you can't blame these because they are completely unware about their
status.

> Windoze (and Mac) users pay a lot of money for their software (and way
> too much for their hardware). They can expect that they don't need to
> solve problems.

That's absurd. I pay for a Windows license and I expect many problems.

> They can also expect that they can use their computers intuitively
> because that's what they are being promised.

And sure both Windows and MacOS make that magic to happen.

> Since everyone can do that, everyone's an expert.

Not at all :-)

Again, real problems (regardless the OS) can be only solved by people who
knows how to solve them or are interested in solving them (→ attitude).

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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Old 09-12-2012, 05:40 PM
Ralf Mardorf
 
Default Installation

On Wed, 2012-09-12 at 17:40 +0200, lee wrote:
> "Weaver" <weaver@riseup.net> writes:
>
> > I wouldn't classify partitioning as a 'tiny little detail.'
>
> It is one of the many tiny little steps the installer does.
>
> > Neither would the average end user.
>
> What are you trying to say?
>
> > Along with the file system, it's the basis of any system.
>
> We could argue about that.
>
> > Try installing without it and you'll see what I mean.
>
> I've done that. You can have everything on one partition or go without a
> partition and use a device "directly".
>
> > And I don't think its helpful to classify the average end user as a
> > 'totally clueless user'.
> > They haven't had the opportunity, until after they have installed, of
> > becoming anything else.
>
> What are you trying to say? That someone is totally clueless before they
> have learned more, and that realising this isn't helpful?
>
> > First people have to be able to
> > install a system before they become familiar with it.
>
> People become familiar with a system before or without installing it all
> the time.
>
> > Without the speed bumps getting removed, we have a very small potential
> > future pool of users, advocates, doc writers, maintainers and developers.
>
> Speed bumps?
>
> >> Have you thought about all the things you would have to explain to the
> >> clueless user to enable them to decide what partitioning they want?
> >> Partitioning involves RAID and lvm,
> >
> > No it doesn't!
> > Those are options that they can look at further down the line when they
> > are more familiar with the territory.
>
> Sure it does. RAID is a requirement since about 10 years now because
> hard disks have become too unreliable to go without. Lvm isn't required,
> though it can be required for the installer to work. You should know
> about it before installing Debian so you can make an educated decision
> about the partitioning you want to use.
>
> > it involves file systems
> >
> > I have already covered this also.
>
> Have you? Did you propose to inform people about the advantages and
> disadvantages of different file systems they can use? That makes for a
> lot they will have to read.
>
> > and what
> >> the computer is going to be used for;
> >
> > That is something that can be left to apt/aptitude/synaptic once the
> > installation is over and they have had some time to choose what they want.
> > That's free software.
>
> So do you want your clueless users have to change their partitioning
> after the installer has booted them into the installed system (at which
> point the installation isn't completed, keep that in mind)? Do you want
> the package managers to make guesses about how a computer is being used
> depending on what packages are installed and modify them so that they
> perform such changes?
>
> > it involves installing a boot
> >> loader somewhere,
> >
> > That is something that you can just press 'enter' to.
> > Grub-pc installation is automagic.
>
> No you can't. Letting aside that you will be asked where it should be
> installed, I've seen it not working at all many times.
>
> > and it might involve other operating systems and/or
> >> virtual machines that are or will be installed on the same computer. It
> >> involves considering the kind of available storage devices since you
> >> might want to use an SSD for a different purpose than your conventional
> >> hard disk, and you might want to put some things on the faster disks you
> >> have rather than on the slower ones and deciding where to put your swap
> >> partitions. It involves considering reliability issues and backup
> >> strategies --- and probably a lot more I'm too lazy to think of. And
> >> what if something doesn't work?
> >
> > We appear to have wandered completely away from newbie territory, Doctor
> > Livingstone!
>
> Then your conclusion must be that partitioning cannot be done by your
> newbie.
>
> >> If you think you can explain all that to the clueless user in 10 or 20
> >> lines of 80cpl text you can put into the installer with a chance of the
> >> clueless user reading them, I'd like to see what you'd put in. Just
> >> don't dumbfound the user by putting some nonsense and unhelpful
> >> blah-blah into it that doesn't even touch the point like the so-called
> >> "documentation" does that you get with windoze.
> >
> > I think we can all agree that none of this is required in this context.
>
> You are the one proposing to put information into the Debian installer
> which enables clueless users to make educated decisions about
> partitioning during the installation. I have pointed out a few things
> that need to be considered in this context, and you claim considering
> them isn't necessary. Sure someone can make a decision about
> partitioning without considering everything that needs to be
> considered. That won't be an educated decision, though, and very likely
> not a good one.
>
> You haven't even started yet to point out what you think is necessary to
> consider to make a decision about partitioning.
>
> >> Keep in mind that partitioning isn't the only part of the installation
> >> process. Maybe you now understand why I'm suggesting that deciding about
> >> the partitioning is something to be done /before/ the installation
> >> rather than something to be decided by a clueless user who's stuck
> >> without a working computer somewhere in the installation process. If
> >> that user has to ask "What is partitioning?", they are at the wrong
> >> place.
> >
> > Not if the information is there.
>
> And you think they would spend a day or two or however long it takes
> them to understand all the information while being stuck in the Debian
> installer with a simple question they should know the answer to before
> they start the installer? I guess you say they shouldn't need to know
> the answer. I say they should know the answer (and a lot of other things
> as well) before starting the installer. I also say it might be better to
> give those who don't know anything a working system so that they don't
> need to know and can use that working system to find out more if they
> want to --- *if* you really want clueless people to have such a thing,
> which I really don't want them to have unless they are capable of
> learning a lot and do learn. Most people don't. Not everything is for
> everyone.
>
> What you have been totally ignoring so far is that different people have
> different ways of learning. It's hard to understand that lots of people
> do not learn by reading documentation and by maybe trying out
> things. They need a teacher, or they need pictures, or they need to
> learn in a totally different order than any you might think of ---
> whatever suits them best. How do you propose that the Debian installer
> shall be modified to accommodate all the possible different ways of
> learning?
>
> >>>> For more than a decade now you need a working computer to install an
> >>>> operating system on another one so that you can acquire information and
> >>>> additional software as needed. Why isn't that included in the
> >>>> installer?
> >
> > I've never needed more than the one I've got.
> > I have needed an internet connection.
>
> You can get away with that if everything works fine and nothing
> unforeseen happens. That usually isn't the case when installing
> Debian. Anyway, even if someone doesn't need a working computer to
> install an OS on one, it's better to have one in case it's needed. So
> give it to everyone on the Debian installer DVD/blueray. You don't have
> to use it.
>
> >>>> For those who don't want to or are unable to learn, have a button they
> >>>> can press to perform the installation, no matter what and no questions
> >>>> asked. However, those are the kind of people who better stay away from
> >>>> computers, which makes it doubtful how useful such a thing would be.
> >>>
> >>> That is not what is being advocated and I don't see the relevance with
> >>> Debian either.
> >>
> >> Well, that is your imagination of users educating themselves about how
> >> their computer and the software works. Why don't you want to give such
> >> users a working system that, besides other advantages, allows them to
> >> educate themselves as thoroughly as they see fit while or even before
> >> they install Debian on their computers? Why don't you want to give users
> >> who don't want to educate themselves the option to simply press a button
> >> and as a result have Debian installed on their computers so that they
> >> can do whatever they want?
> >
> > Because I believe that the best way to climb a ladder is at the first step.
> > After that, it's up to the individual user to decide as to whether they
> > are high enough or not. Most (90%) just want a working system, but how
> > many potential developers are put off by an initial first step?
>
> Why do you insist that the first step for everyone must be using the
> Debian installer to install Debian on their computer? That doesn't make
> sense to me, and there are many other possibilities. --- From what
> you've been saying, it wasn't the first step for you. It wasn't the
> first step for me, either.
>
> When it comes to install Debian --- or to climbing a ladder to some
> purpose --- there are steps that come /before/ placing your foot on the
> first step of the ladder. You need to figure out whether a ladder is the
> right tool for the job or not, then get one, then place the ladder in
> such a way that it is sufficiently unlikely to trip over when you climb
> it, then you grab the tools or whatever you're going to need when you
> reach the top of the ladder. The day before you may have made sure that
> you have health insurance and checked the weather forecast because you
> don't want to repair the roof while it's raining. You have checked that
> you have the necessary tools and/or materials ready because you don't
> want to climb the ladder up just to find out that you have to climb down
> again and take an hour to go to town to get what you need. Even if you
> don't mind getting wet, the roof can be slippery from the rain and you
> may want to adjust the kind of shoes you're wearing or wait for better
> weather if you don't want to fall off the roof and break your neck. You
> may have asked a neighbour to keep an eye open in case you fall off the
> roof and they need to call an ambulance --- a simple precaution that may
> save your life.
>
>
> You're right, though: You're setting your foot on the first step of
> something without having thought anything about it through at all. I can
> clearly see you doing it in this discussion. Pure enthusiasm like this
> can be successful in some cases, and it doesn't tend to get you anywhere
> you want to be. It's a way to make mistakes that could have been
> avoided. Sometimes there's no other reasonable option, and I don't like
> such cases very much.
>
> > Why are other Debian-based distributions so obsessed with the installer?
>
> I don't know --- you'll have to ask them, not me.
>
> >> You can advocate dumbfounding users by putting a few lines of text into
> >> the installer.
> >
> > Ummmm, no, I haven't advocated that anywhere.
> > The whole concept behind those 'few lines of text' is to remove the
> > 'dumbfounding' factor.
>
> Sorry, "dumbfounding" was the wrong the word. I wanted to say "make
> stupid".
>
> >> I hate dumbfounding users like that, and that some users
>
> That should be "I hate making user stupid ...".
>
> >> want to be dumbfounded doesn't mean that I have to do or to propose
> >> it. What you propose is contradictory to what you seem to want, which is
> >> something you probably haven't realised yet. I'm telling you that there
> >> is another option which I think is much better, and you want to totally
> >> ignore it and accuse me of distorting things (lmao).
> >>
> >> So why did you bring this topic up for discussion when you don't want to
> >> discuss it? You seem to have already decided what you want, and nobody
> >> prevents you from doing it. Don't expect me or someone else to tell you
> >> that you should do it. I'm telling you that you shouldn't.
> >
> > I would go along with anything you said if it was based on something other
> > than confused, emotive rhetoric to the point that I could understand it.
>
> Well, I can't help you when you can't understand what I'm saying
> (provided that I manage to use the right words).
>
> > All I am advocating is a small advisory page prior to the partitioning
> > section of the installer.
> > You are advocating - everything!
>
> You're advocating to make or keep users stupid by giving them
> insufficient information. It's a way of getting rid of exactly those
> users you seem to want to attract because users who don't want to remain
> clueless hate it when they are being kept stupid.
>
> For users who don't want to remain clueless, give them all the
> information. Don't limit these users to what you can put into the
> installer! Give them a working system before they install Debian on
> their computer so they can get more information about anything they want
> to know. Help them by telling them what they might want to know ---
> because one problem when you don't know anything is that don't even know
> what you might need to know. I have pointed out a few things which is
> reasonable to look into before deciding about partitioning. --- A
> working system before installing would be great to have for non-clueless
> users as well, as I have pointed out.
>
> The users who want to remain clueless or who don't have a choice can't
> be helped. Some people just don't get along with computers, and trying
> to make them is the wrong approach.
>
> Who do you think you are that you think you can decide what someone
> needs to know to partition their hard disks? Let users decide what they
> want to know themselves. You can help them by giving them something that
> gets them started, not by giving them something that limits them and
> keeps them stupid. You got suggestions to that which you deny, your only
> argument being your assumption that it's too much for them, which even
> contradicts your imagination of users venturing out to learn more. It's
> not your decision to make how much information is too much for someone.
>
> So now, what do you suggest to actually put into the installer?

Apologize, but I won't trim the post. This is an excellent example of
computer nerds are missing what is important for averaged humans.

No averaged desktop PC user ever should deal with RAID, LVM or should
think about the used file system. You all and I mike dislike or like
EXT4, but at the moment it's the most common FS used by default for
Linux and that IMO is ok. RAID at home is idiotic. LVM in general is
idiotic. At the moment I play with LVM using VBox, that's fun, but LVM
for averaged users only would lead to confusion.

Since some years I install all my Linux on a single partition. I'm using
separated partitions for data and I backup to another HD. LVM will force
you to at least have a separated boot partition. An averaged user won't
benefit from separated partitions for root, home, tmp, boot.

Regarding to the way we learn. Yes, people learn in different ways, but
we've one way of learning in common. Learning by doing, but you only can
do and learn, if you have got a working system to start.

It's amazing, in another post I read that when Debian made it easy to
install Debian, people claimed that would be like Debian would become
Windows. Easy is bad? Wow!

It's completely unimportant what the target of a user is, a basic system
should keep everything open. Unfortunately an idiotic DE like GNOME3,
with e.g. a hard dependency to pulseaudio is a bad choice. Pulseaudio
disables multimedia. Computers today should replace the stereo,
television set etc., so users tend to replace on-board crap with high
quality cards. Bad software like pulseaudio disables the usage of high
quality sound cards.

IMO a computer today isn't for nerds only, but a real tool, like a
television set, a stereo.

It's possible to make it easier, but I've got the impression that it's
not wanted. Some nerds think that knowing much about computers has to do
with self-responsibility. That's wrong. Responsibility and
self-responsibility go hand in hand. "Community" shouldn't be for a
circle of just one concern. "Community" should be for ... some people
have knowledge and contribute to human rights, child care etc. and other
people have knowledge about e.g. Linux and contribute to Linux and all
the people together are a community. But especially computer nerds thing
that they are the center of the universe and many people believe the
hype. If tomorrow no computer would work anymore, it's not the end of
the world. A lot of people still have the abilities to do things without
a computer, what they nowadays do with the computer, at least from my
generation and older. I'm 45 years old. A lot of old handwork is much
more precise than any compute today can do.
I like all kinds of new computers, e.g. tablets, but people should keep
in mind that computers aren't the whole life.

So again. RAID, LVM, the chosen file system are unimportant, this stuff
only is important for some special tasks.

2 Cents,
Ralf




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Old 09-12-2012, 05:58 PM
lee
 
Default Installation

The Wanderer <wanderer@fastmail.fm> writes:

> On 09/12/2012 09:55 AM, Andrei POPESCU wrote:
>
>> On Mi, 12 sep 12, 08:57:37, The Wanderer wrote:
>>
>>> Admittedly, not presenting the user with such a prompt at all would be less
>>> off-putting than either, but we may not be able to avoid that unless we
>>> relegate the ability to control partitioning/filesystems to the full expert
>>> install - and there may well be people who would prefer to handle their own
>>> partitioning, but would not be comfortable with all the details of the
>>> expert install process.
>>
>> One shortcut could be added: if the system has only one mass storage
>> device[1] display a simple prompt to choose between wiping
>> everything (and
>> doing a all-in-one partition install without other questions asked) or
>> proceeding to partitioning as usual.
>
> But how do you phrase such a prompt so that it won't be confusing (or otherwise
> off-putting) to our hypothetical "user who has no idea what a partition is"?

Simply ask the user if they want to allow the installer to remove all
data that might be stored on their computer and tell them that they
won't be able to get it back once it has been removed unless they go to
great lengths like employing professional data recovery services.

If they say yes, present them with a big red warning asking if they
really want that, and if they still say yes, the installer can do its
partitioning in whatever way it wants.[1] Do that as early as possible.

If the user says no, they have two options: Either not to install or to
decide themselves what they want. If they want to decide themselves,
you can help them to learn in ways I've described in other posts.

This wouldn't constitute a need to delegate partitioning entirely to the
expert installation mode. If you want to partition yourself, you just
say no and do it yourself.


[1]: I don't know if that sufficiently covers UEFI boards with which I
have no experience with. Apparently such boards need software
installed on some storage media to be able to boot which some user
might not want to allow the installer to remove. (How does this
software get onto a storage media in the first place? Is there
something included in the package when you buy such a board?)

> As I understand the discussion so far how to avoid putting off that
> hypothetical user is precisely the issue at hand.

It's also about not keeping users stupid. When someone figures that
doing something is over their heads, they either need to learn more or
don't do it or find an alternative. Letting someone realise that they
are attempting to do something which is over their heads can be a good
thing to do. The number of direct choices you can give them (with some
installation software) is limited.

>> [1] more than one mass storage device can mean that the user has at least
>> some knowledge of partitions and also the risk of doing something wrong is
>> too big.
>
> There's also the consideration that an "all in one partition" install isn't
> necessarily the smartest thing in the first place - a separate /tmp/ at the very
> least would seem like a good idea. But the question of what the default "the
> user didn't want to handle partitioning at all" configuration should be is a
> separate one, and I may not know as much about the subject as I think I do.

Yes, that's a different issue. Some improvement there would be nice.


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Old 09-12-2012, 06:46 PM
Ralf Mardorf
 
Default Installation

On Wed, 2012-09-12 at 02:10 +0200, lee wrote:
> I've seen not totally clueless windoze users sitting with me in front
> of their computer, looking at the Debian installer and asking me "How
> do you know which keys to press?". It's a totally valid question. I
> just know which keys to press, the clueless user doesn't. How are they
> supposed to know?

A friend, a Mac user, ones was amazed how fast I'm able to type and that
I understand what I do, using a terminal emulation. I simply was file
browsing, cd, ls, cat, grep etc.. I'm accustomed to this workflow,
that's all. OTOH I like GUI file browsers, but it's often time consuming
to set up those monsters. Often I browse through directories using the
mouse and a GUI file browser and than copy etc. by the terminal
emulation, because I don't remember shortcuts to split the window of the
GUI monster.

> People believe that they can solve problems they have with windoze and
> don't believe they can solve problems they have with Linux, and they
> believe they don't have problems when they have a Mac.

I know people who know that they can't solve problems with Linux,
because they don't have that much time and they tested Linux.
The friend with the Mac switched to Windows, regarding to all the issues
that ship with a Mac. I know many clueless people using Windows, because
they know many people who are able to help them. I always recommend to
install Linux, because my knowledge about Windows is out of date. But
they simply know more people with knowledge abut Windows and btw. until
now I always was able to help, because their issues with Windows are
simple to solve, even without knowledge about Windows. Their problems
often are general issues, that come with using computers, e.g. loose
SATA cables, explanation that the providers server is down.

Regards,
Ralf



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Old 09-12-2012, 08:12 PM
Celejar
 
Default Installation

On Wed, 12 Sep 2012 17:05:48 +0200
Ralf Mardorf <ralf.mardorf@alice-dsl.net> wrote:

> On Tue, 2012-09-11 at 23:16 -0400, Celejar wrote:
> > Um, you snipped this line:
> >
> > "These extra packages provide support for a few rarely used codecs"
>
> Even if you install all codecs that are available for Linux, you are not
> able to join every video from the Internet.
> Consumers need more codecs than are available for Linux. The "rarely" is
> relatively.

I have no idea what you're watching and listening to, but how often
does a user actually run into multimedia for which there's no linux
codec?

> > This hardly results in "a serious issue for all Linux distros".
>
> Yes, consumers can't consume, but that's what they want.

Of course they can. I daresay most consumers running linux never see
audio or video that linux has no codecs for.

I challenge you to provide real world, serious examples of A/V out
there for which there's no linux codec.

> > [snipped rest of message, which does not deal with actual codecs, but
> > other software that some users may consider essential.]#
>
> Yesno, there was also more about codecs. CD ripping!

Ripping is no problem, unless you need to do so into the mp3 format

Celejar


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Old 09-12-2012, 08:38 PM
Andrei POPESCU
 
Default Installation

On Mi, 12 sep 12, 02:28:48, lee wrote:
> Andrei POPESCU <andreimpopescu@gmail.com> writes:
> >
> > You can press (Ctrl+)Alt+F1 to get a console
> >
> > (SCNR)
>
> Wasn't that F3? And then you try to start a web browser and it says
> "command not found". Not even less is available, only more, which I
> otherwise never use Then try to burn a CD or something ... Emacs?
> Command not found ... joe ... command not found ... vi ... command not
> found ... vim ... command not found ... I don't remember what works,
> nano maybe? Or pico? Or what? find ... command not found ... shit Now
> what? ls -laR | more, yuck q ... tab tab y ... hmmm ...

That was a joke, sorry if it wasn't obvious

> > I'm guessing Debian's Installer would need quite some rework to
> > enable it to work on an already running (possibly live) system.
>
> Lots of packages would have to be added, I guess. When you think of it,
> the installer just boots a kernel and runs a minimal system and mainly
> the installer on it. If some more packages were added, we could have at
> least a good choice of editors and lynx.
>
> There's the GUI installer as well. I never tried it, but why can't they
> just add seamonkey or another GUI browser and some program that can burn
> CDs/DVDs? Because they want to keep the disk images small?

I was suggesting to enable d-i to work from inside Debian Live.

Kind regards,
Andrei
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