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Old 09-13-2012, 11:57 PM
"Weaver"
 
Default Installation

On Thu, September 13, 2012 9:58 am, lee wrote:
> "Weaver" <weaver@riseup.net> writes:
<snip>
>>>
>>> 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.
>>
>> No, they are directly interrelated.
>> The one immediately leads to the other.
>
> And you're not distorting the discussion when you talk about something
> that is related to something but when someone else talks about something
> that is related to something they are distorting it?

There is a distinct difference between the terms 'related' and relevant'.

>
> You need to get used to thinking things through some more, even if it
> seems complicated to you.
>
>
> What about the Debian installer? How does the clueless user know which
> keys he needs to press?

That is fully annotated in the installer.
I have never experienced any confusion in that regard.


You could start at that question when
> discussing how to increase the market share of Debian installations. Or
> what are you discussing? Partitioning? The frequent inability to
> install grub? The claim that in most cases the installer works by
> itself? Ugh ...

I have never advocated discussion on the last two points you provide.
Only the the first two directly related ones.
Regards,

Weaver
--
"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government."
-- Thomas Paine



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Old 09-14-2012, 12:26 AM
lee
 
Default Installation

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

> On Thu, September 13, 2012 4:20 am, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
>> On Thu, 2012-09-13 at 04:10 -0700, Weaver wrote:
>>> If you find, in time, that you are running out of drive space, instaal
>>> a bigger drive, install the / and swap and again, allocate the rest
>>> as /home and copy it over.
>>
>> How big should / become? Okay, modern drives have that much capacities
>> that for an empty drive or much unallocated space, simply fifty-fifty
>> should work. But what does argue against having root and home on the
>> same partition?
>
> So that, if it is required, you can move your /home to a separate drive if
> needed over time.
> If you write of an installation of just the one partition, your data
> disappears as well. Having a separate /home gives you some protection and
> flexibility.
> This will be something our newbie would discover as a knowledge
> progression, but a pleasant and, on occasion, necessary discovery.
>
> You can always do a reinstall, preserving all data, with a separate /home.
> Regards,

Huh?

You cannot determine the size of the /home partition by the size of
another storage device that may be installed or not, now or in the
future. No matter what size you make the /home partition, you can
always back it up provided you have some sort of storage media with
sufficient capacity by the time it is needed.

You can backup your /home directory just fine even when it doesn't
reside on a separate partition. Good backups, using RAID and an UPS
give you some protection while using a dedicated partition for /home
doesn't give you much. Just imagine the user making a mistake with the
usage of '#rm -rf' or something going wrong with /home during a
re-install.

Do you expect users to re-size their /home partitions for flexibility?
Before you do that, you need a backup. When you have a backup, you
don't really need to re-size it.

Do you seriously want the clueless user to lose their data as a pleasant
learning experience rather than advising them well so data loss might be
prevented?

You could also suggest using only half of the available disk space in
some configurations so that the user can use it to make backups when
they find out that they need a different partitioning.


--
Debian testing amd64


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Old 09-14-2012, 12:31 AM
lee
 
Default Installation

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

> On Thu, September 13, 2012 9:58 am, lee wrote:
>> "Weaver" <weaver@riseup.net> writes:
> <snip>
>>>>
>>>> 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.
>>>
>>> No, they are directly interrelated.
>>> The one immediately leads to the other.
>>
>> And you're not distorting the discussion when you talk about something
>> that is related to something but when someone else talks about something
>> that is related to something they are distorting it?
>
> There is a distinct difference between the terms 'related' and relevant'.

What are you trying to say? That you assume that what you are saying is
relevant and what others are saying is not?

>> What about the Debian installer? How does the clueless user know which
>> keys he needs to press?
>
> That is fully annotated in the installer.
> I have never experienced any confusion in that regard.

Really? It might very well be and I never noticed.

> You could start at that question when
>> discussing how to increase the market share of Debian installations. Or
>> what are you discussing? Partitioning? The frequent inability to
>> install grub? The claim that in most cases the installer works by
>> itself? Ugh ...
>
> I have never advocated discussion on the last two points you provide.
> Only the the first two directly related ones.

And?


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Old 09-14-2012, 12:40 AM
"Weaver"
 
Default Installation

On Thu, September 13, 2012 9:47 am, lee wrote:
> "Weaver" <weaver@riseup.net> writes:
>
>> On Wed, September 12, 2012 8:40 am, 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.
>>
>> Agreed.
>> Many of the steps in the installer are tiny, but I wouldn't classify
>> partitioning or choosing a filesystem as 'tiny' from the viewpoint of a
>> newbie doing an install by him/herself.
>
> It's still just one of the many tiny steps. That you or a clueless user
> gives it so much importance doesn't change that.
>
> Importance is in the eyes of the beholder ...

Yes, and partitioning in the eyes of the newbie is an incomprehension.

>
>>> What are you trying to say?
>>
>> That the average end -user would not consider partitioning a minor
>> detail.
>> It would be more along the lines of an insurmountable object.
>
> It is one of the most basic things you do when you have a computer with
> storage devices like hard disks. How can someone /not/ know what a
> partition is? Someone installing an OS on their computer should know
> what a partition is before they start the installation.
>
> They don't need to know about all the details and issues involved before
> they start installing.
>
>>>> Along with the file system, it's the basis of any system.
>>>
>>> We could argue about that.
>>
>> You probably will.
>>>
>>>> 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".
>>
>> O.K., we have to stop and look at something here.
>> Is going without a partition and employing a device directly something
>> the
>> average newbie would settle for in preference to partitioning.
>
> Whether they do that or not doesn't change what's possible.
>
>> Having everything on one partition is a bad idea for anybody.
>
> That's not true. It can be a very good idea in some cases, like when
> you have a small storage media or when you're setting up a VM or when
> you do an installation for testing purposes.

These are not typical newbie exercises.
Even with a small media resource, a separate/home is not a good idea.

>
> And what might "everybody" do? They might have a computer --- pretty
> likely even only a laptop --- with windoze on it and a free partition
> --- or make one free for it --- and go for a testing installation
> because they want to try out Linux.

For that they would probably go with a live CD in the knowledge that
nothing is going to touch their system.

>
> And it gets a little ridiculous here: I wouldn't recommend a laptop
> unless someone really needs it. I wouldn't exactly recommend installing
> Linux on a laptop. Why would someone who uses a laptop even /think/
> about trying out Linux on it? And if they did, they would probably be
> better advised to install it in a VM --- which also applies for people
> using a computer instead of a laptop. And isn't using a life CD to try
> it out a better option than trying to install it?

It was you that suggested the install.
I recommended the Live CD option.
We appear to have a direct contradiction here.

>
> So who the hell are we talking about here? About those people who tried
> out a life CD in a VM and have decided they want to actually install it?
> If they use a computer already and are thinking about switching to
> Linux, what do you tell them? "Sure, set up a VM and try it. That way
> you still have your working computer as is and everything works and you
> can take your time with the switch."
>
> If I could have done that when I switched from OS/2 to Linux, I would
> have.
>
>> I think that a separate /home partition could be installed in the Nebie
>> Install.
>> A nebie generally needs to reinstall on anumber of occasions - it seems
>> to
>> be part of the learning process -
>
> I agree because I had to: once because I messed up file permissions, a
> number of times because I had to change the partitioning, then when I
> switched from Suse to Debian and another time when I switched from ia32
> to amd64.
>
>> and they have to on a regular basis with Windows anyway, so they are
>> already in the habit, but they don't have to loose their data on each
>> occasion. Once they are up and running, the different configurations
>> on the install can be explained to them on the list, wiki, etc., but
>> first a successful install has to happen.
>
> I disagree. It makes a lot more sense to me to have the working system
> before having to install it. Slip in the DVD or blueray and boot from
> it into a working system and install any time you feel like it.
>
> When you assume the windoze user, they are likely to have windoze
> already running on their computer. I would advise them to install in a
> VM first. In that case, it seems to make more sense not to use
> different partitions --- unless maybe you let the VM use partitions
> instead of putting everything into a regular file. When you do that,
> the partitioning is likely be done under windoze, isn't it? In the
> Debian installer, the user would (still) have to tell it which of the
> partitions to use for what, and automatic partitioning isn't likely to
> work for this.

The introduction to knowledge needs to be done on a simple basis, at any
stage. Unrequired complexity merely clutters the landscape.
Let's just deal with the installer.
The newbie can get into concepts such as virtual machines a little further
down the track.

>
>> If they can do that, it will keep them going.
>> A little bit of success is needed to provide anybody with motivation.
>> Continuous negative bombardment is soul-destroying for anybody and we
>> won't get many adherents that way.
>
> Well, if I was using an OS and needed or wanted to switch to another
> one, I would want to keep the one I'm currently using working and would
> prefer to be able to easily switch between the current and the new one.
> I would have some software I'm using which I might want to work on the
> new OS, and if it doesn't, I would need to find replacements first. I
> also have data I don't want to lose and which I need accessible from
> either OS.
>
> Nowadays you can use a VM for this and/or maybe life systems. In the
> past you had to have several OSs installed at the same time. The CD
> drives were too slow for life systems, and the disks were too small to
> install several OSs at the same time. It's so much easier today ... you
> probably can't imagine.
>
>
> Anyway, what case are you talking about now? The clueless user who has
> become unhappy with their windoze and wants to try out Debian? Ok, they
> manage to burn a bootable CD from the ISO image (and most ppl have no
> idea what a disk image is and how to make a bootable CD from it) and
> slip it into their drive and boot from it. Then they completely nuke
> the only working system they have in the process of installing Debian
> because they allow the installer to remove all data from their computer
> because they are unable to do partitioning. That may work or not, and
> they cannot predict whether it will work or not.
>
> Come on, how likely is that? I usually underestimate peoples stupidity,
> but that a user is clueless doesn't mean that they are stupid --- and
> certainly not /that/ stupid.
>
>> 'Newbie' might be an acceptible term, but I don't think referring to
>> them
>> as 'clueless' would be helpfull in the context. Why stop at that?
>
> Are you assuming that your newbie is not clueless? How would you
> describe them?
>
>> Why don't we label them as 'Pig-Ignorant', or 'Retards'?
>
> Simply said, that's because I'm not stupid. I can't help with
> stupidity; the only thing that helps against stupidity is more
> stupidity.
>
>>>> 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.
>>
>> People might get to see a GI before installing it, on somebody else's
>> machine, but they don't become familiar with it until after the install.
>> Or perhaps all the people on this list are Newbies?
>> I'm a self-confessed life-long student, but I'm a lot more familiar now
>> with Debian than I was before I installed it.
>> That's just the way it works.
>> You don't start climbing any ladder from the top and the bottom rung is
>> installation.
>>
>> Perhaps you were a guru before your first install?
>> I'm happy for you.
>
> It is not necessary to actually install an OS to run it so you can try
> it out and learn about it. I find it more reasonable not to install it
> for this purpose because not installing it makes it less likely to screw
> up your working system.
>
> When you start with nothing (but the necessary hardware), you do not
> have anything to download the Debian installer with. Letting that
> aside, it won't hurt you to install Debian on your hardware --- and that
> still doesn't mean it is necessary or should be necessary.
>
> What do you think is easier for someone who never used a computer
> before and knows (almost) nothing about them:
>
>
> 1.) put a DVD or blueray into a drive and boot a working system from
> that (so that they can start learning and maybe install once they
> feel comfortable enough to do it)
>
> 2.) put a DVD/blueray into a drive and boot the Debian installer from it
> and install Debian on their hardware
>
> 3.) buy a pre-installed computer that works out of the box (so they can
> start learning right away ...)
>
>
> (In my thinking, 1.) and 2.) involves buying the hardware and putting it
> together yourself. I don't understand people who buy pre-build
> computers ... However, let's assume that in this case, the clueless
> user has somehow acquired working hardware for 1.) and 2.). (Option 3.)
> is a questionable choice when you already have the hardware ...) )
>
> In all cases, they'd be well advised to also get a good book to learn
> from. Unfortunately, those have become really hard to find.
>
>>> 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.
>>
>> To employ those options, and encryption, in the installer, there needs
>> to
>> be some clarification about what order they need to be installed in,
>> along
>> with the explanation that, with encryption, you need an unencrypted
>> /boot
>> partition.
>
> Yes, I agree, the partitioner can be very confusing and pretty much
> leaves you alone too much.

Exactly!
So can we agree that clarification is required in this area?


That's why it would be great if we could
> just switch to a web browser and look up about what we need to know.
> Just putting some text into it isn't such a good idea. It would have to
> be too much text, and it would be difficult to cover all options and
> possibilities.

No, it wouldn't have to be too much....just concise.
>
>> Just as an aside and strictly between you and me, I'm running base-level
>> IDE discs with no raid or LVM2 and I think most newbies would be doing
>> the
>> same.
>
> And they wouldn't be better advised if they knew about the possibility
> that they could use a RAID to survive a disk failure?
>
>> As far as encryption goes, they are not immediately going to be
>> running Hydra and Backtrack5. They would probably be more concerned with
>> their email client, browsing and a word processor for submitting a
>> resume.
>
> That doesn't mean they shouldn't know about the possibility. And can
> they easily switch to encryption later?
>
>>>> 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.
>>
>> No, this could be handled by the default.
>
> Huh?
>
>> A short note to these aspects could point to the wiki for reference
>> however.
>> If they have a laptop on the side, they could have a quick read before
>> carrying on with the rest of the install. Perhaps they have massive
>> graphic files that would be best on one file system rather than another,
>> or need to know that ext3 will fall back onto ext2 if it fails.
>
> Yay! You're kinda starting to understand what I'm saying!
>
> *If* they have a laptop or whatever working system at hand they can fall
> back to, you can give them a guide --- and not only about file systems
> or partitioning --- so they can look up the information they need.
> That's a very big *if*.
>
> Remember that I said that you need a working computer at hand before
> installing an OS on another one? Remember that I proposed to give users
> a working system together with the installer so that they can get the
> information they need?
>
> Not everyone has several computers (at least one of which is working) at
> hand. You said you didn't need one; maybe you didn't have one. You
> don't need a physical one when you can simply switch between the Debian
> installer into the working system. Still you insist you don't want that
> because you want users to complete the installation first before you let
> them have a working system which they can use to learn.
>
> Do you see now how that doesn't make sense? Give them a working system
> /before/ they install. Why do you want users to be stuck in the
> installer without a working system? It's something I really don't like,
> so I rather have a working computer at hand I can fall back to --- which
> unfortunately is not always possible.
>
>>>> 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)?
>>
>> No, I can't see where I have said or inferred that.
>
> Hm I guess you didn't realise that you were proposing this by suggesting
> that the package management shall figure out what a computer will be
> used for going by what packages are installed. When I install, I
> install a minimal system and add what I want later, and this is
> something I recommend.

Exactly!
An dwhat medium do you employ to make the decisions as to what you want
installed?
>
> Even if a user selects many packages to be installed while still in the
> installer, they might remove or add some later. What packages they
> install doesn't necessarily have anything to do with what they are going
> to use their computer for. A user might install packages out of
> curiosity or they may want to use their computer for something different
> soon after the installation when they have learned a little.
>
> Then they might find they need different partitioning for what they want
> to do. They may not even know this and just think that Linux sucks
> because unsuited partitioning prevents them from doing what they want.

Exactly!

>
> And you don't want the package management change the partitioning all
> the time when packages are installed or removed, do you?
>
>> 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?
>>
>> Ummm, no, I don't see where that comes from either.
>
> That's what you suggested, see the quote above.
>
> You could instead ask the user what they want to use their computer for
> and use this information to compute the partitioning. That involves
> asking questions, though.
>
>>>> 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.
>>
>> You will be asked where it should be installed if you have more than one
>> O.S. installed.
>
> You are even being asked when you don't have anything installed (aside
> from what the Debian installer put on).
>
>> That aspect of the installer is quite coherent and I don't see how
>> anybody
>> could be confused.
>> A newbie wouldn't, but somebody that was 'clueless' might.
>
> Whether someone gets confused about it or not is a different
> question. The installer will ask you if you want to install grub into
> the MBR or into a partition. I've been wondering many times if there's
> enough room to install it; the installer doesn't tell you what it needs.
> Many times, it told me it cannot install grub because its installation
> failed. I don't find installing grub easy at all. It's relatively easy
> when you know you want it in the MBR and *if* it actually works.
>
> What if you have other OSs on the same computer? I have no idea how to
> handle that. I'd have to find out /before/ starting the installer
> because I already know that I will be stuck in the installer, unable to
> get any external information once I started it. Sorry, but the Debian
> installer sucks ...
>
> Seriously, can't they at least put lynx into the installer?? It's better
> than nothing.

For somebody coming from a full-blown GUI browser, hopeless as it is like
Explorer, Links, elinks, Links, etc., are an obstacle not an asset.

>
>>> 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 don't see the point in leaving them uneducated.
>
> Me neither --- I'm only pointing out that enabling them to make educated
> decisions about partitioning isn't as easy as you think, and I'm
> suggesting that the Debian installer probably isn't a suitable tool for
> the education of users, especially when the users to be educated don't
> have a working computer which would enable them to educate themselves.
>
> Therefore, and for some other reasons I already mentioned, I'm voting to
> give users a working system along with the installer so that they can
> educate themselves /before/ or /while/ installing rather than being
> stuck helplessly in the installer, which can give them pointers as to
> what they might want to look into, aiding their self-education.
>
> Do you remember my first question in this discussion? Maybe you
> understand the question now.
>
>> I have pointed out a few things
>>> that need to be considered in this context, and you claim considering
>>> them isn't necessary.
>>
>> What you point out is required for somebody running more than a basic,
>> nebie system
>
> That depends on what you consider as such. Let users decide for
> themselves what they want. Put pointers to appropriate information into
> the installer and/or into an installation guide. Give them a working
> system before and while they install so they can read the information
> and learn as they go and read their emails in between or browse the web
> when they take a break.
>
> Don't try to force users to install Debian before you let them have a
> working system. Don't keep them stupid. Let them learn and ease into
> the installation and through it from the working system they have.
>
>> 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.
>>
>> For the average newbie that wants an email client, a browser and an
>> office
>> suite, along with being able to watch a movie and listen to some music,
>> it
>> will be good enough.
>
> You don't need to have Debian installed for that. You can have that
> before you install. Lots of people use web clients for their mail, btw.
>
>>> You haven't even started yet to point out what you think is necessary
>>> to
>>> consider to make a decision about partitioning.
>>
>> Let's win the first battle before we carry on with the rest of the war.
>
> Ok, then make good wiki pages. They would benefit everyone at any time
> and not only people who are stuck in the Debian installer.
>
> Let's file a bug report against the installer and suggest what I
> suggested here, with a pointer to this discussion. As a first step, put
> at least lynx into the installer --- that shouldn't be too difficult.
>
> Both things can be done at the same time.
>
>>>>> 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 have searched the annals and can't find any reference to this either.
>
> Huh?
>
>> 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.
>>
>> And I don't.
>> The average newbie's requirements simply aren't that sophisticated.
>
> That doesn't matter. Partitioning is an important step during the
> installation, regardless of who performs the installation. The topics
> that are involved with partitioning are the same, no matter who performs
> the partitioning. It is very difficult to make a computer (in this case
> through the Debian installer) figure out how to do the partitioning in a
> reasonable way without direct user interaction not only because it
> depends a lot on information only the user has (or doesn't have because
> they are clueless) but also on what hardware and software (like other
> OSs and data) is available and must remain unharmed, or, in the case of
> hardware, should be used or not --- regardless of who performs the
> installation.

The installer is quite specific in regard to where it should place the
installation. Nobody is going to hose any other installed OS unless the
simply refuse to read.
If that's the case they need to lose the current installation to help them
to wake up a little.
There's nothing wrong with permitting people to assume some level of
responsibility for their existence.

All that is required, prior to the partitioning stage, is a short,
concise, informative note (and no more than a note) to deliver information
required to make an informed choice.

>
> Think of an internal combustion engine you might have in your car. You
> are saying "my requirements are not so sophisticated that I would need
> internal combustion". Ok then, your car won't move because its engine
> doesn't work without, regardless of who drives it. You'll have to push
> it or to get a horse to pull it or replace the engine with an electrical
> motor or put a sail on it so you can sail it --- whatever works for you.
>
> You expect the computer which controls the robots that manufactured your
> car to find the right solution for you without giving it any information
> other than that your requirements are not so sophisticated as to need
> internal combustion. Since the people who programmed this computer were
> smart, the computer decides that you can have a car without an
> engine. Since your car doesn't have an engine, it doesn't need wheels.
> Since it doesn't have wheels, it doesn't need a drivetrain and doesn't
> need a suspension. Since it doesn't have that, it doesn't need crash
> protection like a body and seat belts and airbags, and it doesn't need a
> steering wheel. Since you're not going to drive anyway, you don't need
> an electrical system and surely not a radio --- and so on. What do you
> think you'll end up with? A single seat maybe?
>
>
> Your approach either gets people stuck in the installer or keeps them
> stupid and/or leads to partitioning in unwanted ways. Partitioning in
> unwanted ways isn't necessarily bad, you only need to somehow make sure
> that it works in such a way that a user who doesn't tell you what they
> want is happy with it. Do you have good ideas about how to do that? Or
> would you consider that my approach is easier, more likely to yield
> better results and to make users happy?
>
>> 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.
>>
>> Yes, but I would maintain that the opportunity to find out is their
>> decision and some level of accessibility is not out of line with
>> humanitarian principle.
>
> You may want to make a decision about whether you want to protect people
> from their cluelessnes or stupidity or not. That's something I don't
> really want to think about. Just let them install when no technical
> reasons are against it. First remove the pressing need to install by
> giving them a working system before installing, and they might think
> twice before making a mistake. Making mistakes isn't the only way to
> learn.
>
>>> 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?
>>
>> Historically, documentation has been the learning medium for every
>> subject
>> of human endeavour under the sun.
>> It is true that evrybody has different levels of comprehension through
>> different media, depending on what accent their particular modality of
>> learning style combination inclines them to. Some might need to read the
>> documentation only once, others twice, and others half a dozen times,
>> but
>> I think you will find that most of them can read and have some level of
>> comprehension associated with that.
>
> That someone is able to read doesn't mean that they want to read or that
> reading something is the best way for them to learn something. You can
> put something right in front of someones eyes (or ears) and they may
> totally ignore it because they don't see (or hear) it. Someone else
> sees it immediately (and nothing else). It's not as simple as you
> think.

It's exactly that simple.
If they refuse to see something placed right in front of them, they
deserve the result, but this is a non-event for 95% of the anticipated
market.

>
>> Perhaps we could leave the discussion concerning learning styles and the
>> effect this might have, in individual cases, for another occasion. I
>> will
>> be happy to take part then, but perhaps you might like to keep in mind
>> that this is in association with no more than ten lines of text and that
>> I
>> am an instructional designer of some considerable experience.
>
> The association with ten lines of text is there because I said it would
> *not* be sufficient to put at least ten lines of text into the installer
> in order to enable clueless users to make educated decisions about
> partitioning after you suggested putting one line into the installer for
> that purpose. Please, show us these 10 lines (or the one line) you have
> in mind.
>
> Insofar you want to educate users who don't know what a partition is to
> the point where they can make an educated decision about partitioning
> while they are stuck in the Debian installer, I would advise you to
> consider that different people have different ways of learning. I don't
> think it is an easy task, and considering that different people have
> different ways of learning might greatly increase your changes of
> success. And again, trying to educate users while they are stuck in the
> Debian installer isn't such a good idea. You're better off doing that
> before they are stuck. It will be much less frustrating for everyone
> and have much better chances for success.
>
> Just consider the timing: Even before they are stuck in the installer,
> they want to install Debian because they need/want a working system and
> not learn about partitioning. They are frustrated and more or less
> pissed and feel stupid because they are stuck. They will have no
> patience and no apperception whatsoever for your teachings. Don't let
> them get stuck. Let them switch to the working system and read their
> emails or file bug reports and come back later.
>
>>>>>>> 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.
>>
>> Yes, it is.
>> Or at least it has been for me.
>
> Try to install on a software RAID ...
>
>> Give me a call.
>> I'd be interested in the film and video rights.
>
> Of what?
>
>> I think you'll find that most people don't see the need to make a simple
>> climb up a ladder that complex.
>> It isn't.
>
> It don't think it's complex. Things are easier to do when I'm prepared
> for what I'm doing.
>
>> An eldely uncle might have advised that it is smart to have the base of
>> the ladder out one foot for every foot in height - an important point
>> which I notice you didn't include - and after that, it's all about
>> getting
>> to the destination.
>
> I said something about making sufficiently sure that the ladder doesn't
> trip over. Climbing the ladder has a purpose and isn't a purpose in
> itself here. It's pointless to climb the ladder when you cannot achieve
> your goal by doing so (because you were unprepared).
>
> When you know you want to cook a meal this weekend and you're not sure
> you have the ingredients you need, do you wait until it's time to start
> cooking and then go hungry because you can't cook the meal?
>
>> Do you seriously ring the local ambulance association before driving
>> down
>> to the local Post Office in case there's an accident?
>
> No, and I didn't suggest doing that. They are on guard all the time,
> and if I have a car accident and need an ambulance, it's likely enough
> that someone will call them.
>
> When I plan an event and expect a lot of people to come, I do call
> whomever I need in advance so that an ambulance is available when
> needed. If I don't, I'd be in big trouble if one is needed.
>
> Perhaps the first thing you do is taking the wheels off of your car when
> you want to install new brake pads. I drive into town first and get new
> brake pads and then take the wheels off. Somehow, that makes more sense
> to me than your way.
>
>>>> Why are other Debian-based distributions so obsessed with the
>>>> installer?
>>>
>>> I don't know --- you'll have to ask them, not me.
>>
>> Because they understand exactly what I am referring to.
>
> What are you referring to?
>
>>> You're advocating to make or keep users stupid by giving them
>>> insufficient information.
>>
>> No, I am advocating supplying new users with the information they need
>> and
>> only the information they need that applies to partitioning.
>
> And who decides what they need?
>
>> 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.
>>
>> I haven't specified how the information should be conveyed but you have
>> already passed judgement on it.
>> I feel slighted and wronged and not at all abashed.
>
> You have specified that. You suggested to put a line of text into the
> installer, and some people started telling you that a line of text or a
> few isn't enough. Since then, you are trying to deny that.
>
>>> 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.
>>
>> I don't think you will find that this concept is conducive to economic
>> logistics.
>
> What do you mean?
>
>>> 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.
>>
>> I just don't think that the Debian Administrators Handbook would fit
>> into
>> the installer context very well.
>
> Remember my first question in this discussion?
>
> You can read it online just fine, provided you have a working computer
> that enables you to.
>
>>> So now, what do you suggest to actually put into the installer?
>>
>> I was thinking of something much more brief and pertaining only to
>> partitioning, but first I will have to find an old drive and do an
>> install
>> to see exactly what is needed.
>
> You'd have to try that with a number of different setups, like other OSs
> already installed and/or to be installed later, different hardware,
> including the possibility of having broken disks installed, installing
> in a VM, assuming different use cases ...
>
> You're starting at the wrong place again; clarify things first.

And I don't think so.
I have seen nothing in your words that inclines me otherwise.
Installing from a live CD works, but even there some information should be
supplied to explain different spin speeds and the effect it has on access
speed, or Debian is seen as having no speed advantage over Windows.
Far easier to solve the problem where it lives.
Regards,

Weaver

--
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-- Thomas Paine



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Old 09-14-2012, 12:44 AM
"Weaver"
 
Default Installation

On Thu, September 13, 2012 12:04 pm, lee wrote:
> "Weaver" <weaver@riseup.net> writes:
>
>> On Thu, September 13, 2012 12:29 am, Andrei POPESCU wrote:
>>> On Mi, 12 sep 12, 17:53:41, Weaver wrote:
>>>>
>>>> I would be an advocate of at least a separate /home partition in the
>>>> 'Newbie Install'.
>>>
>>> How big? IMVHO a separate /home partition[1] makes sense now[2] only if
>>> one can make reasonable guesses about future use. I got it wrong
>>> several
>>> times and so have many others.
>>
>> That depends on the size of the drive.
>>
>> I make a / partition, a swap that is twice the size of RAM - on this
>> box,
>> 4 GB, and the rest is just assigned to home.
>>
>> That way the drive size is the only limiting factor.
>>
>> If you find, in time, that you are running out of drive space, instaal a
>> bigger drive, install the / and swap and again, allocate the rest as
>> /home
>> and copy it over.
>>
>> By that time, this would be a good project for the not-so-newbie.
>> Regards,
>
> What do you do, or what is the installer supposed to do, when you have
> several disks? Make a RAID-0 out of them and do as you describe? Make
> a RAID-1 or RAID-10 or RAID-5? Only use one disk? Put / and everything
> else on one disk and use the other(s) (one) for /home?
>
> I can see you saying that your clueless user doesn't have more than one
> disk.

In the majority of cases, they won't, having bought an OEM installed box,
where the manufacturer has kept the price down with a minimum of hardware.


What about the clueless user who scraped together their computer
> over time from old or cheap parts they were able to acquire, so they
> have a couple of old SCSI and IDE disks between 16, 36 and 100GB in
> size. They've got an OS they want to keep on the 100GB IDE disk, which
> is partitioned (someone else did it and they don't know how to change
> that), some data on the others, all partitions between 60--90% full with
> non-removable stuff, and now they want to try out Debian. They are in
> the installer and expect it to install without partitioning
> manually. What's the installer supposed to do or to offer them?

Why do you create scenarios that are overly complex?
There are many questions in this world.
Regards,

Weaver
--
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-- Thomas Paine



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Old 09-14-2012, 03:57 AM
"Weaver"
 
Default Installation

On Thu, September 13, 2012 5:26 pm, lee wrote:
> "Weaver" <weaver@riseup.net> writes:
>
>> On Thu, September 13, 2012 4:20 am, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
>>> On Thu, 2012-09-13 at 04:10 -0700, Weaver wrote:
>>>> If you find, in time, that you are running out of drive space, instaal
>>>> a bigger drive, install the / and swap and again, allocate the rest
>>>> as /home and copy it over.
>>>
>>> How big should / become? Okay, modern drives have that much capacities
>>> that for an empty drive or much unallocated space, simply fifty-fifty
>>> should work. But what does argue against having root and home on the
>>> same partition?
>>
>> So that, if it is required, you can move your /home to a separate drive
>> if
>> needed over time.
>> If you write of an installation of just the one partition, your data
>> disappears as well. Having a separate /home gives you some protection
>> and
>> flexibility.
>> This will be something our newbie would discover as a knowledge
>> progression, but a pleasant and, on occasion, necessary discovery.
>>
>> You can always do a reinstall, preserving all data, with a separate
>> /home.
>> Regards,
>
> Huh?
>
> You cannot determine the size of the /home partition by the size of
> another storage device that may be installed or not, now or in the
> future.

GParted can.

No matter what size you make the /home partition, you can
> always back it up provided you have some sort of storage media with
> sufficient capacity by the time it is needed.

After they gain a successful install, a good project would be to get on
top of backup2L or Grsync.

>
> You can backup your /home directory just fine even when it doesn't
> reside on a separate partition. Good backups, using RAID and an UPS
> give you some protection while using a dedicated partition for /home
> doesn't give you much. Just imagine the user making a mistake with the
> usage of '#rm -rf' or something going wrong with /home during a
> re-install.
>
> Do you expect users to re-size their /home partitions for flexibility?
> Before you do that, you need a backup. When you have a backup, you
> don't really need to re-size it.

They will not be performing this operation immediately.
First they will need to use what they have.

>
> Do you seriously want the clueless user to lose their data as a pleasant
> learning experience rather than advising them well so data loss might be
> prevented?

They cannot absorb all the knowledge in all the documentation by printing
it out and swallowing it.
I appreciate that these things have to become familiar, but wouldn't that
be better after the installation?

>
> You could also suggest using only half of the available disk space in
> some configurations so that the user can use it to make backups when
> they find out that they need a different partitioning.

And if the drive only has enough space in the first place?
Just install, then buy an external drive.
Cheap enough these days.

I'm looking at buying an external WD 1.5 TB for $99.
Keep things simple and they work.
First the installation.
After that the next rung.
Regards,

Weaver
--
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-- Thomas Paine



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Old 09-14-2012, 02:22 PM
lee
 
Default Installation

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

> The installer is quite specific in regard to where it should place the
> installation. Nobody is going to hose any other installed OS unless the
> simply refuse to read.
> If that's the case they need to lose the current installation to help them
> to wake up a little.

You're proving what I already suspected: That you are one of those
people who have picked up some sort of half-knowledge and now think they
know a great deal and that they could make decisions for others because
they know so much better. This kind of people is far worse than the
clueless kind.

Start thinking things through: You assume the clueless user who is
totally overwhelmed when presented with the partitioning stage in the
Debian installer. Obviously, it doesn't occur to you that this user
might make a mistake which could lead to him losing the only working
system he has and all his priceless data. Do I need to say any more?

Keep your hands off of the Debian installer and stay away from computers
and cars.

> All that is required, prior to the partitioning stage, is a short,
> concise, informative note (and no more than a note) to deliver
> information required to make an informed choice.

I don't see much point in repeating myself.

> Installing from a live CD works,

The Debian installer doesn't give you a working system unless they
recently changed that.


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Old 09-14-2012, 02:59 PM
lee
 
Default Installation

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

> On Thu, September 13, 2012 5:26 pm, lee wrote:
>>
>> You cannot determine the size of the /home partition by the size of
>> another storage device that may be installed or not, now or in the
>> future.
>
> GParted can.

,----
| lee@yun:~$ apt-cache show gparted
| Package: gparted
| Version: 0.12.1-1
| [...]
| GParted uses libparted to detect and manipulate devices and partition
| tables while several (optional) filesystem tools provide support for
| filesystems not included in libparted.
`----

I very much doubt that this works with devices that aren't currently
installed or with partition tables on devices that might be installed in
the future.

>> Do you expect users to re-size their /home partitions for flexibility?
>
> They will not be performing this operation immediately.

That doesn't matter. You suggested a separate /home partition, claiming
the option provides more flexibility. Whether it does that or not
depends on a lot of factors you haven't mentioned and probably haven't
thought about.

>> Do you seriously want the clueless user to lose their data as a pleasant
>> learning experience rather than advising them well so data loss might be
>> prevented?
>
> They cannot absorb all the knowledge in all the documentation by printing
> it out and swallowing it.
> I appreciate that these things have to become familiar, but wouldn't that
> be better after the installation?

No, people would be better advised learning about partitioning before
they use the Debian installer to install Debian on their computer, with
some exceptions to that, like installing in a VM running under the OS
they are currently using.

>> You could also suggest using only half of the available disk space in
>> some configurations so that the user can use it to make backups when
>> they find out that they need a different partitioning.
>
> And if the drive only has enough space in the first place?

Then that won't work.

> Just install, then buy an external drive.

And then start all over again?

> Cheap enough these days.

They are not cheap enough. Hard disks still cost twice of what they did
shortly after I bought some last time. You could get a WD20EARS for EUR
65, and now a 2TB disk costs about EUR 99--130

You'd buy 3TB disks now. You need 4 of them because you want a
RAID-10. That's about EUR 520, i. e. about US$ 670. I don't call that
cheap (enough). Even if it was only 1/2 that, it would still be a lot
of money.

> I'm looking at buying an external WD 1.5 TB for $99.

That would be too small for me; even a single backup wouldn't fit on
that. BTW, don't buy it. Get a *good* external case with sufficient
cooling and a disk to put into it. Don't buy one you cannot open
without breaking it.

> First the installation.
> After that the next rung.

First jump out of the plane, after that figure out where and how to get
a parachute. No thanks, that's not the way I do things and not
something I would recommend.


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Old 09-14-2012, 03:29 PM
Camaleón
 
Default Installation

On Thu, 13 Sep 2012 03:49:40 +0200, lee wrote:

> Camaleón <noelamac@gmail.com> writes:
>
>> On Wed, 12 Sep 2012 02:10:31 +0200, lee wrote:
>>>
>>> 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.
>
> It is irrelevant when you can't install the OS?

No. It is irrelevant to consider the installation step as the source
problem because the installation variable can be easily avoided by 1)
buying a computer with pre-installed OS on it (Windows, MacOS, Ubuntu,
FreeDOS...) or 2) having a friend that installs it for you (Windows,
MacOS, Ubuntu, FreeDOS...).

The system is installed and running, now what?

>>> 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?
>
> No, if they run into a problem, they aren't able to fix it. However, I
> expect that there are no problems with installing windoze on a raid. If
> I can't they get that right, it's even worse than I imagine.

What!? You are being too optimistic then :-)
>
>>> 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.
>
> Then the software goes back to the place I got it from. If I buy
> windoze, I pay for something that works. They can fix it or take it
> back.

Dude, you can't do this for "do it yourself" computers.

>> 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).
>
> Clueless is clueless, so what's the difference?

Yet over again? "Attitude" makes the difference.

>> I wonder how many bugs have you reported and how of them has been
>> solved ;-)
>
> I didn't count. Some them seem to have been ignored, some were fixed.

Yeah, that's the norm. I mean, the former ("ignored") is the norm :-)

>>> 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.
>
> Not at all, I've had that happening. It wasn't a security fix and it
> was free software I didn't pay anything for.

Oh, sure. This happens from time to time. But you have to be rather
persistent and there's no guarantee for the problem to be solved.

>>> What commercial software has support that good?
>>
>> That will depend on what you can afford.
>
> I'm talking about support that doesn't cost anything, of course.

Then you are hoping for too much, sir. And remember that free software is
not about things that cost ($) anything.

>>> 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).
>
> Yes, you need to know or figure out how to do it. When you don't have
> the source code, you don't have that option at all, which is worse.
> Fglxr is for ATI/AMD cards? Stay away from those, they give you more
> trouble than anything else. There's an open source replacement for
> nvidia cards; I'm sure you know that.

Sadly, there's still times when you cannot select what to use and there
are lots of software packages and hardware devices that do not provide
their sources, that's the problem and we have to face it, like it or
not :-/

>>> 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.
>
> It doesn't fit their requirements when the software they want to run
> doesn't support it.

And they only notice when its too late and start blaming linux and its
poor harwdare support ;-)

>>> 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...
>
> You have that option. If you don't know how to do it, you can learn,
> that's a different issue.

Exacttly: that's an attitude. You see? :-)

>>> 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.
>
> Maybe you call it attitude and I call it believe?

Well, attitudes are for real: you expose one or another. When it comes to
beliefs I'm not that sure.

>> 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
>
> Yes, you get that for Linux, not with windoze.

You must be using a different web search than me X-)

>> as well as many official resources
>> you can query (Microsoft's KB).
>
> Lol, have you looked at the crap they have on their website? It's
> totally useless, keeping users stupid. Maybe that changed, it's been a
> long time since I looked.

You have to be kidding: one of the most valued Microsoft features is
their documentation, it's priceless (and not juts their online KB but
Windows embedded help). You won't find something like that for linux
where most of the docs at the web are too outdated (or too new) and
highly fragmented/unorganized. In frief: it's a complete mess :-)

>>>> 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.
>
> I've never seen anyone who did.

Again, you have to be kidding. JFYI, I have solved all of my problems
with Windows by myself :-)

>> 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.
>
> I never needed that with Linux and the so-called windoze experts can't
> fix windoze problems. I'm not surprised since there isn't any
> documentation and the source code isn't available, either.

Sorry, but I can't believe that. It does not math with my experience.

>>> 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.
>
> That's their fault and not mine, sure I can blame them. You can't just
> claim "oh I didn't know" and thus get away with everything.

Not knowing something is not a fault but a current status that can be
changed.

>>> 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.
>
> Not at all.

(...)

Then you live outside this world or you're too ingenuous. Have you
recently read the Windows license? It basically say (among many other
things) that they are not responsible for any bug in the software >:-)

>> 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).
>
> It doesn't matter what attitude you have or what you believe. You can
> believe that the sun won't rise tomorrow or that it will rain. The sun
> will rise or not and it will rain or not regardless.

So here you have the answer to your previous question: attitude cannot be
compared to a believe ;-)

> Besides, there are problems you cannot solve even when you know how to
> do it. And being interested in solving one doesn't mean that you can
> solve it.

99,9% of the computer problems can be solved without much pain. In thi
end, this is just something involving electronics, physics and
mathematics.

Greetings,

--
Camaleón


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Old 09-14-2012, 03:37 PM
lee
 
Default Installation

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

> On Thu, September 13, 2012 12:04 pm, lee wrote:
>>
>> What do you do, or what is the installer supposed to do, when you have
>> several disks? Make a RAID-0 out of them and do as you describe? Make
>> a RAID-1 or RAID-10 or RAID-5? Only use one disk? Put / and everything
>> else on one disk and use the other(s) (one) for /home?
>>
>> I can see you saying that your clueless user doesn't have more than one
>> disk.
>
> In the majority of cases, they won't, having bought an OEM installed box,
> where the manufacturer has kept the price down with a minimum of hardware.

When they have that, they will very likely have windoze on a single hard
disk on a single partition. Do you want the D/i to shrink this
partition? If so, have the users make a backup first.

Who says that this is a the majority of cases? And who says it matters?
What you haven't thought about is that the D/i has to be able to work
with all kinds of different hardware. You don't want to think about
anything that might be different from how you assume things are because
it gets in your way.

> What about the clueless user who scraped together their computer
>> over time from old or cheap parts they were able to acquire, so they
>> have a couple of old SCSI and IDE disks between 16, 36 and 100GB in
>> size. They've got an OS they want to keep on the 100GB IDE disk, which
>> is partitioned (someone else did it and they don't know how to change
>> that), some data on the others, all partitions between 60--90% full with
>> non-removable stuff, and now they want to try out Debian. They are in
>> the installer and expect it to install without partitioning
>> manually. What's the installer supposed to do or to offer them?
>
> Why do you create scenarios that are overly complex?

They aren't overly complex. They are realistic. I installed Linux on
something like the above when I installed it the first time, only that
disk sizes were still in the MB range and you could only dream of a disk
that would have the incredible capacity of 1GB. Of course, you didn't
have internet and might not even have heard about it, and even if you
did, you wouldn't have had access to it. It was a computer I had bought
pre-built from a manufacturer and upgraded over time. That's one of the
nice things about this kind of computers: You can modify them easily.

Why do you expect that people just go and buy exactly the hardware you
want them to have before using the D/i? It is unlikely that they
will.

You said you had old crappy computers when you started. Didn't you take
out the disks (and other useful parts) and put them into the next one
when you switched to make the next crappy computer a bit less crappy by
upgrading it? Or even only to keep your data?

Well, maybe not, I can imagine you dumped the old one when you got the
next one and started thinking about keeping your data not before it was
too late. Wake up, not everyone does things the way you do.


--
Debian testing amd64


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