Anaconda/UX Redesign

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# make the defaults work such that you can just click next all the way through
 
# make the defaults work such that you can just click next all the way through
 
# reduce the number of questions to just the important stuff.
 
# reduce the number of questions to just the important stuff.
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 +
= Where does choice happen? =
 +
 +
# Different spins
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# Boot menu option (default=easy and an "advanced" option)
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# Selection screen when anaconda starts
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# "advanced" buttons in the anaconda pages
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# PackageKit post-install
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= Various User Issues =
 
= Various User Issues =

Revision as of 15:17, 12 October 2010

Contents

Resources

Goals

  1. make the defaults work such that you can just click next all the way through
  2. reduce the number of questions to just the important stuff.

Where does choice happen?

  1. Different spins
  2. Boot menu option (default=easy and an "advanced" option)
  3. Selection screen when anaconda starts
  4. "advanced" buttons in the anaconda pages
  5. PackageKit post-install


Various User Issues

  • Picking user location is tedious. Shipping database of locations that becomes quickly stale.
    • Possible to query online server for updated location data via geoip? (privacy?) (One note on this one, if you want to adopt using geo location stuff for

suggesting the locale or timezone, please make sure to not force it, especially for default language.)

    • Does the db include ipv6 addresses?
    • "I remember we used to have much better dialog (the one with zoom on europe - select city). But I also know, that we use system components for some dialogs and this is one of them... so this is not part of Anaconda, but of system-config-date."
    • "I still miss being able to select my timezone, rather than a city. As a resident of Texas, selecting America/Chicago always makes me feel dirty for some reason.  ;-)"
    • "Just try to select on blind map without country frontiers Prague (the capital of Czechia). I was born in Prague (so I should know where it is ... but it is hard on blind map) and I think my hands are not shaking yet, but to find a milimeter exact position of mouse (or IBM Thinkpad pointer-thingy) which is Prague (and not Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, or Berlin) is job which makes me disgusted every time. IMHO, the cursor in the first step should be a big rectangle with which I would randomly click to select big chunk of Europe roughly somewhere around Central Europe and then I would have map with country boundaries and visible cities I could select from."
  • Virtual machine install issues
    • "Don't ask about setting the clock when machine is known to be a VM with a reliable clock source like KVM pvclock - One big improvement might be a big selection up front that says "This looks like a VM image, do you want me to select the default options for a VM install".
    • In the case of virtualization we know that we just created a brand new blank disk with no existing data. Ideally either anaconda can detect that its a blank disk (all zeros), or have a command line arg that can be passed to it, so virt-install could tell it to unconditionally write a new partition table.
    • "have the virtualization management use tools (guestfish and friends) to initialize, partition and format the disks (hopefully aligned properly!)."
  • Starting Anaconda up (Live Image method)
    • "It looks like a button, but it behaves unlike a button. I have (several times, but then I'm stupid) clicked it, it highlights, I wait, I wait some more, and it hasn't done anything. Because it's not a button, it's a desktop icon, and for reasons lost to the Lords of GNOME _those_ sorts of buttons have to be double-clicked."
    • "In the Ubuntu 1010 live CD, the first screen is two buttons, which are something like: [ Try Ubuntu out now ] [ Install Ubuntu ] and they are buttons. You click them (once) and they do what they say."
    • "Live CD installer requires manual reboot from non-obvious menu -Why doesn't the installer just reboot? You're assuming here someone who has used GNOME and Linux before. Most people will have no idea what to do, I guess many will assume that the installation finished and now they are using the completed and installed system and thus lose their work."
  • Extraneous screens
    • "Blank first page of installer with 'Next' button is unnecessary and confusing"
    • "Remove unnecessary 'automatic login' step" (livecd)
    • "Installer asks for keyboard again, even though I already selected it"
    • "Get rid of firstboot step, and ask questions in parallel with disk formatting / copying / installation"
    • "Don't display license in firstboot -- it's not necessary and the license shown doesn't apply to all the software"
    • "Don't bother asking about smolt stats -- either always submit them or never submit them"
  • Storage screens
    • "ATA QEMU HARDDISK is the only choice and should be automatically selected"
    • "Confusing/frightening 'REINITIALIZING WILL CAUSE ALL DATA TO BE LOST' when in fact this is the correct step for all users"
    • "Confusing/frightening 'Write changes to disk' screen when this is the correct step for all users"
    • "While formatting disk, multiple dialog boxes are rapidly opened and closed"
  • Progress bar
    • "No accurate progress bar covering the entire install - I mean there is no progress bar that starts at 0% when the installation starts, and ends at 100% when the installation is finished, and moves at an approximately constant rate. You might debate when does an installation 'start,' but in anaconda the bar currently doesn't include things like formatting the disk which most people would consider to be a part of the installation process."
  • Every user thinking they are advanced and running into issues
    • "Making "advanced" only a choice at the beginning of a 10 step process is a non-starter and leads to the problem you describe above. If instead there were "Advanced Options..." in each step along the way that could be opened/closed at will, that would allow users to explore the advanced options without worrying that they made the "wrong choice" way back at the beginning of the 10 step process, whether or not they actually end up using the advanced options."

Unsorted User Complaints

  • "Don't take it personally, but I think the quality of the installer is quite low. Functionality that does not work (I BZ'ed my latest frustration in https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=637811), error messages are lacking/incorrect (sorry, did not BZ it, will next time it happens, but it was about inability to get an image from a HTTPS site) and there's PLENTY of room for functionality improvement (just filed my usual frustration - https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=641910). As this is the first impression the user gets of the product, its quality and polish is of utmost importance. geolocation and stuff are nice, but not as important."

Suggestions from other installers

  • "start disk formatting / copying / installing in parallel with asking user questions"
  • "downloads updates in parallel too"
  • "uses IP geolocation to guess the user's timezone and keyboard settings (it's been 100% correct for me each time)"
  • "suggests a username and hostname based on the user's real name (Mac OS X's installer also does this -- it's a nice touch)"
  • Ubuntu 10.10 installer screencast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=higI04jG6R8

Use Cases

  • Offline installation
  • l10n / non-English speakers (see Test_Day:2010-09-16_AnacondaTranslationKeyboard)
    • "Very difficult to select non-US language and keyboard"
    • "Back button selects US English keyboard, even though I have now specified UK keyboard *twice*"
  • keyboard shortcuts / no mouse
  • install of virt machines
  • Live image
    • "I believe the Ubuntu installer under discussion is the live installer. Like Fedora, there is no package selection involved there. Ubuntu gains considerable simplicity by having a separate installer app for live images and making that its default installer - I'm no expert, but I think the 'advanced' installer you can use for network installs and custom package selection and LVM and RAID and all that stuff is essentially Debian's installer, and is a completely different experience to the Ubuntu installer."
  • Dual-boot (second neighbor or first neighbor)
  • text-mode