Anaconda/UX Redesign/Discussion

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UI Structure

Move from Wizard-based linear UI to a Hub-and-Spoke Model

We would like to move to a hub-and-spoke UI model rather than the current linear wizard model.

(rationale goes here)

Install Methods

Combine Live media and DVD?

Today live media and DVD are separate. bcl is working to generate the live media images with Anaconda, since they aren't today and because live media are generated via a different code path, various stability issues are present in live media installs today. One of the issues, that dlehman says has gotten a bit better over time but still needs improvement, is that the user can interact with the live image as it's being installed, which can make the install fail in weird ways. (It's kind of a pulling-the-tablecloth-out-from-under-the-meal kind of problem, where the system is the tablecloth and the meal is the install process.)

It might be preferable to have a single all-in-one installation ISO... one that is live bootable, yet also has a full-blown Anaconda installer as well. It's only one piece of media to download, and one codepath for installations making installation more stable, easier to test, easier to debug.

One idea is that you would boot off of a live DVD and when you are are ready to install, clicking on the 'install to hard drive' icon boots the machine into full anaconda, either via modifying the GRUB configuration or using kexec.

An alternative solution to the 'tablecloth' problem would be to full screen Anaconda's window during live install with no option to minimize it.

A downside to disabling the live environment during install is that users say they like to be able to read documentation while installing.

UI Functionality

Individual Package Selection Removal / Adding Spins selection

We would like to remove the notion of individual package selection.

There are some issues that individual package selection causes today:

  • Users can customize their package selection much more easily post-install via PackageKit or yum, where more information about individual packages is at their fingertips.
  • Users can install individual packages in a live environment, and may suffer some confusion / annoyance when they realize their lovingly hand-picked packages are gone after rebooting into their fully-installed system.

Is there any other rationale here?

Why do users like choosing individual packages in the installer vs. post-install? Is there any advantage to this? (Not sure.)

We could replace individual package selection with better high-level / abstracted software customization. For example:

New feature: Saving user progress

One new feature we are considering is to save out a partial kickstart file if a user quits Anaconda before finishing. If we detect a partial kickstart file on a USB stick in th emachine, we'll reload all of the fields the user had filled in thus far so they didn't have to restart from scratch.

New (again) feature: Ransom notes

We would like to bring back the 'ransom notes' feature of Anaconda. You know, the feature that introduced the world to the glorious beefy miracle. They make the install process more fun and give the user something to look at as their install progresses.