Subject: Re: sysinst partition editor problems
To: NetBSD-current Discussion List <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 02/16/2003 10:55:52
[ On Sunday, February 16, 2003 at 10:44:31 (+0100), Pavel Cahyna wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: 2003/02/10 snapshot installation mis-adventures (and NetBSD guide)
> For example, the partiton editor of
> sysinst is quite nice

I very seriously beg to differ.

It sort of works, but that's not the point.  It's user interface really
badly sucks.  There is no more polite way to say it.  It might be nice
in theory but it is VERY hard to actually use, for experts and for
beginners.  The old interface was potentially better.  The new one is
like an old chiming mantle clock where you can only move the minute hand
to set the time and you have to wait for every chime on every quarter
hour, half hour, and full hour, to sound itself out in full or else
you'll get the hour hand hopelessly out of sync with the chimes.  I
could ramble on for weeks about the details of the problems, but I'll
try to summarize the main problems:

	1. it's "indirect" i.e. uses multi-level menus instead of direct
	   manipulation of fields (the way some of the better BIOS setup
	   screens work is far better, but still nowhere near ideal of

	2. it does no real-time validation of data -- only post
	   validation of some very few things

	3. it tries to support the full possibilities of disklabel when
	   that's most definitely NOT what's needed!  People who want to
	   do fancy things already know how to use disklabel directly!

Someone with some real experience designing human computer interfaces
should be working on sysinst and EVERYONE working on it should PLEASE
have a look at similar systems (FreeBSD, RedHat, etc.).  IMVNSHO _ALL_
of them are better in some ways, some stunningly so!

								Greg A. Woods

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