Installer program for FreeBSD-9.0?

Polytropon freebsd at
Thu Dec 9 05:07:29 UTC 2010

On Wed, 08 Dec 2010 23:48:11 +1000, Da Rock <freebsd-questions at> wrote:
> On 12/08/10 11:26, Polytropon wrote:
> > On Wed, 08 Dec 2010 00:09:24 +0100, "Julian H. Stacey"<jhs at>  wrote:
> >    
> >> My comments/ wish list
> >>      - One text mode (non bitmap graphical) browser: 	/usr/ports/www/lynx
> >>      
> > The lynx browser, due to its "special" key handling, does not
> > appeal to novice users. NO text mode browser gives a "first
> > sight effect" that will "convince" a user he's installing a
> > modern OS. Sounds stupid, I know.
> >
> > As I said, the way the user interacts with the browser does
> > determine how fast he gets through the installation. Learning
> > the browser (instead of just pressing the keys shown on the
> > screen) could make things look worse.
> >
> > On the other hand, with the ability of X to run without
> > configuration on recent hardware, what's wrong with running
> > X with a graphical web browser - if the user DECIDED that
> > way? Of course, this decision is the FIRST step in the install
> > process:
> >
> > 	Install method
> > 	--------------
> > 	T ->  traditional text mode installer (sysinstall)
> > 		(this one does not have all the options)
> > 	W ->  web-based installer in text mode
> > 		(typical for professional users)
> > 	G ->  web-based installer in graphics mode
> > 		(typical for novice users)
> > 	R ->  remote installation
> > 		(just starts the server)
> > 	S ->  shell
> > 		(dialog shell access to live system)
> >
> > 	Enter choice: _
> >
> > Just a simple idea.
> >
> >
> >
> >    
> I like that approach- works for me anyway...

Let me add that it would be good to default do an action
after a certain time (e. g. 60 seconds). This default should
be the preparation for remote installation as this is the
obvious choice when no interaction is done - because it
maybe is not possible (like for headless servers). So
you put in the installation media (CD or USB stick), wait
a minute, and then remotely access the installer.

> Accessibility should be foremost at this level and above.

I would also like to see it that way; sadly, "market share"
oriented development doesn't share this thought. You can
make money on all the healthy users, there's plenty of
them. Users with disabilites are uninteresting, from a
"marketing" point of view. Users in niche markets are
uninteresting, too.

> The legalities 
> themselves are becoming hairy these days, and considering the point that 
> we are trying to push accessibility in terms of applications (such as 
> issues with flash, to name one) using physical accessibility as a 
> parallel argument we should be setting an example as well.

Accessibility on the web is just one point. Operating systems,
the backbones of all the dancing bunnies, should be a good
example of how to make information accessible to the widest
amount of people. This includes the idea of NOT cutting out
those who do not have the ability to access a graphical
installer: Not because they don't want to use it, but because
they don't have the means to access it.

> That said, there is no reason why can't make it look as pretty as we can 
> without compromising this principle :)

GUI installer, remote access and not rising barriers does not
contradict. If done properly, it can benefit both the professional
users AND those who judge at first sight.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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