On Mon, 27 Apr 2009 09:39:38 -0400, Jerry McAllister <jerr...@msu.edu> wrote:
> I have done hundreds of installations and still
> find times that I want more information in the middle of things.  That
> is especially true if I try to add some packages at install time.

I agree with this. That's why I always included a


in my "paintings" of how an improvement of the text mode installer
(and a possible GUI installer) should go.

Another idea would be to add something of value to the help
text. Let it be not only an explaination, but a suggestion,
just like "if you have ... then consider using ...; if you
want to use ..., then you better set ... and ...".

An addition that comes to my mind right now would be a kind
of autodetection of existing operating systems on the disk,
which obsoletes (or easyfies) the boot manager dialog. For
example, if FreeBSD is the only OS, the default choice would
surely be "install FreeBSD's MBR", so the only OS will boot.
If there are other OSes, the boot manager could be suggested.

This idea continues into a "autodetect for partition editor",
which could look like this:

                                ____ automount ____
Device          Mountpoint      No      R/O     R/W     Explaination
/dev/ad0s1a     /               [ ]     [ ]     [x]     FreeBSD's root
/dev/ad0s1d     /tmp            [ ]     [ ]     [x]     Temporary files
/dev/ad0s1e     /var            [ ]     [ ]     [x]     Stuff
/dev/ad0s1f     /usr            [ ]     [ ]     [x]     Much more stuff
/dev/ad0s1g     /home           [ ]     [ ]     [x]     Your stuff
---------------- other than FreeBSD ---------------
/dev/ad2s1      /blabla         [ ]     [x]     [ ]     Linux stuff
/dev/ad2s2      /foobar         [x]     [ ]     [ ]     FAT32

I've excluded options like "format yes/no" and file system
type for easyfication. :-)

The idea would be that /etc/fstab would be populated with
everything that exist, keeping the default that noauto is
chosen, and -o ro, unless the user specifies something else
on his own risk.

And again, a multi-lingual installer is an idea. In fact,
it's NOT an idea, because - and I may speak only based on
my experiences in my home country - those who install FreeBSD
are familiar with the english language, and those who are
not familiar with the english language wouldn't even know
FreeBSD. :-)

> But, I agree that we must not give up on a 'text based' installer that
> is the most generally usable, even if some other options might be made
> available.    The text based installer could also be massaged a bit
> to make it a little easier to understand as well, without losing its
> functionality.

Completely agree.

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