Ciaran McCreesh wrote:
On Tue, 5 Apr 2005 22:45:21 -0700 Robert Persson
| But what's wrong with tools to make things easier if they don't impair
| the  performance of the system?  Why not have a nice simple
| X-configurator that  does the job of the SuSE or mandrake equivalents?

Get coding :)

with broken hands like mine and using speech recognition like NaturallySpeaking? <snort>

love your sense of humor cruel as it may be.

| For the most part, Gentoo is very straightforward to set up if you
| have the patience to follow the howtos step-by-step. However some
| things can still be damned hard, configuring X being one of them. | Why not be more open to solutions to these problems?

They're not large enough problems that they're worth spending huge
amounts of time on.

yes they aren't complicated problems. but they are huge time wasters. If an install takes you a few hours every time you install, those are a few hours you'll never ever have back again. Those are hours you could have used doing something else or even having a life. I think I probably spend a good third of my career doing things by hand that could have been automated if only we thought they were worth spending time on. But no, it was always "we're not going to do it that many times" or "it's easy, just suck it up".

this is another aspect of usability and user interface design.
Understanding how much of your life is sucked away by simple tasks that
could have been automated.

as I said to many a person,
the first time you install gentoo, it is amazing,
the second time you install gentoo, it is empowering,
the third time you install gentoo, it is wearying

another example of this is updates.  I know people have pissed and
moaned about how you must run all updates by hand to make sure
everything goes perfectly well.  And I can agree...for the first
machine.  But if you do the same process manually on two machines, you
can cope but when you get to seven or eight machines, it is miserable.
I have a customer with 15 machines and the thought of updating all of
those on a monthly basis[1] is frightening.  This process must be
automated otherwise, you can't use gentoo in widespread deployments.

another place for process improvements could be made is updating the
configuration files[2].  If the installation process or at least the
configuration file update process could create a patch file between the
original baseline configuration file (i.e. the one belonging to the
current install package) then apply the patch file to the configuration
file, we wouldn't need to work so hard.  If the patch doesn't work
right, store all the information in the configuration file and tell the
user.  When automated things break, it's OK to scream for human but at
least try to automate because it will work right most of the time.

[1]I just went through an updated to machines (three months and nine months since last update) and it broke both machines seriously. On the other hand frequent updates seem to have minimal breakage

[2] it sucks not being able to write much code but if somebody wants to
be my coding fingers, we can figure out what needs to be done.


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