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Re: Desktop NetBSD needs your help

On 2/6/09, Andrew Ball <aball%students.prairiestate.edu@localhost> wrote:
>  Hello Andrew,
>    AD> For those new to NetBSD the early user experience can
>      > be poor. This is especially true when coming from a
>      > Windows/Mac/Linux background.
>     Isn't the "user experience" necessarily limited by the
>  need to support platforms where the console might literally
>  be a VT-102 hanging from a serial port?  That's not to say a
>  text-based sysinst can't be friendly, but NetBSD may not be
>  free to make the same assumptions as a PC-bound operating
>  system.

Because NetBSD -is already- a viable desktop platform, your assumption
is already false.  It might also surprise you to learn that linux runs
on non-pc hardware, as do versions of mac os and windows.

>   AD> While basically sound, the installer asks many
>     > detailed questions and is unintuitive.
>     If your project aims to dumb down sysinst, I hope that
>  there will at least be an "I know what I'm doing" option for
>  those of us who just want to get the job done quickly,
>  without having to go back and undo assumptions made by a
>  dumbed-down installer.

From the original email:
[Note: we have no plans to remove "expert" mode installs - this is about new
functionality.  We believe this endeavour to be in the best interests of
NetBSD and its users and are committed to doing it, hence we are not
interested in debating the essential merits of the project.  Thank you.]

>   AD> If new users persevere and install the system, they
>     > are left with a 1980s-style text prompt...
>     That's part of the appeal for me.  NetBSD doesn't make
>  assumptions about what I'm going to be using a host for: it
>  installs the bare operating system and then gets out of my
>  way. An easier way to check out the NetBSD source and pkgsrc
>  might be a nice addition though, especially for new people.

Here's a counter-argument- by not making the desktop experience as
easy as another operating system, NetBSD is assuming what you -won't-
be doing with a host, which is just as bad.

>   AD> The learning curve is steep.
>  Almost vertical. Welcome to unix.
>  - Andy Ball.

Needless to say, I disagree that unix is difficult to use or learn.

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