Re: Modern FreeBSD Installer?
- From: Mehmet Erol Sanliturk <m.e.sanliturk@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 26 Apr 2009 14:52:56 -0400
On Sun, Apr 26, 2009 at 1:28 PM, Giorgos Keramidas <keramida@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 02:18:55 +0200, Erik Trulsson <ertr1013@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Better would be to check (somehow) for the presence of a keyboard and
a screen. If those are not present forget about X. If they are
present then the user at least has a possibility of using X.
Deferring to the user all the decisions that are impossible to make with
a reasonable chance of doing the Right Thing for everyone seems ok too.
Solaris has been shipping for quite some time with an installer that can
run on serial consoles, an installer that can launch a simple
terminal-based session under X11, and an installer that can launch a
Java GUI version in all its bloated glory.
The decision of which installer to launch is left to the user who sits
on the boot console, who is presented with a simple menu like:
| Please select installation type (default = 3): _ |
| 1. Text-only console installation. |
| 2. Terminal based GUI installation. |
| 3. Dialog driven GUI installation. |
There is also a timeout that launches the user-friendly GUI dialogs
after a few seconds.
I think this is a reasonable approach to the problem of which
installation mode to launch. The default is `user friendly', there is a
timeout so the installer won't get stuck forever in the prompt, and
there is still an option for a plain console-based installation for
everyone who wants to go that way.
Last week I have installed Solaris 10 ( 2008-10 ) on a PC ( x86 ) having an
Intel main board . It did not recognize Philips 220WS LCD ( 1680 x 1050 )
monitor and selected itself a text-mode install and also booted in text mode
I moved its hard disk to a PC with an Asus main board having an attached
CRT Philips 109B6 ( maximum resolution : 1920 x 1440 ) monitor .
Since boards were different , Solaris 10 could not
boot . I started an upgrade installation . During that time it become
necessary to leave PC for a while assuming that installation will wait .
With its count down and start by itself in its GUI mode . it started to
install automatically .
At the end , the install become useless because its default detections were
not what parts were there ( I think it used previously detected parts
without checking the present parts except monitor and perhaps some others ,
I do not know exactly .) .
For such reasons , personally , I hate
(1) auto-start installations .
(2) auto-detect parts without asking correctness of detection when its
conclusion is not verifiable
by the installers
( for example
(ADSL router modem is not detected correctly even its network card is
and installation continued with assumption that there is no such a
device . )
( erroneously detection of monitor resolutions and using a default
resolution which is not usable
due to mismatch to display characteristics of the monitor ) ... )
With respect to experiences gained continuously installing operating systems
, my idea about FreeBSD sysinstal is that it is an excellent installation
system developed by very conscious persons which they know what to do very
The points I suggested for improvements are toward to make it easy for the
beginners . For a computing system , to satisfy needs of both beginners and
expert users is not a very easy task . Making a part easy for a group may
make it difficult for other group . Using defaults is not always correct
due to hardware detection difficulties .
My inclination is toward the beginners as much as possible because this
approach will enlarge FreeBSD user group .
In reality , design of a user interface is within subject areas of Ergonomy
, Human-Computer Interaction , and User Interface Design which there are
plenty amount of researches about those subjects , and many scientific
journals and books .
When I was in University a research assistant was working toward a PhD in
Ergonomy by researching user interface software design principles to reduce
the human errors during control of a system ( for example , effects of menu
depths ) .
Thank you very much .
Mehmet Erol Sanliturk
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