Devon H. O’Dell has been working on an installer. This is a prototype, not a screenshot.
I’m glad someone is doing this, it’s something I wanted to do, but have never had time to.
As for the prototype, much work will need to be done in the looks department, but the concept (most important part) is fine. I suppose I’ll be overridden in hoping that it uses GTK/Gnome HIG? ;)
not a troll…but why not just a nice plain easy to use text installer. i never understood the point of a gui installer..who needs graphics when installing the OS? you just pick a few options set a few settings and you’re done. text seems to have much less baggage and can get the job done just the same..IMO. Unless of course dragonfly wants to go for the pretty sparkly shiney install. ah well my 2 cents USD.
Current progress of the installer with _real_ screen shots is available at http://sitetronics.com/current.png
Ah well, looks can always be improved. The one thing I’m not happy with is the goofy red dot to show where one is in the installation process. That’s something I’ll be fixing.
I am using Gtk+ 2.0 to implement this. CVS is at http://freebsd0.sitetronics.com/cvsweb.cgi/tissue/src/frontends/gtk/
Our installer platform does not have only one front end. There are both kickstart and ncurses installers available for those who don’t want or need a GUI installer. However, it’s high time that a BSD get a “pretty sparkly shiney install” as new users don’t share your opinion. Contrary to what you might think, sysinstall isn’t very user friendly, it’s horribly broken, and if you look at the BUGS section, you see:
This utility is a prototype which lasted several years past its expiration date and is greatly in need of death.
That note was written in 1997.
I don’t mean to sound trite, but GUI installers are available for pretty much all of the OSes that actually sell popularly (with very few exceptions). I don’t think it to be a bad idea for us to have one too :)
Devon H. O’Dell
I think it looks great! Well done!
It was more the left font (looks too cool, needs to be more readble and boringly professional), and some of the spacing seemed akward. I’m still not sure what the Hympha thing in the bottom right is either. But all that is largly personal and will vary from person to person.
What is more important is the actual process itself. Maybe we can have an advanced mode/simple mode for instance. For simple GUI installer I think that some things can be removed. For instance, configure mouse? And base packages and extra packages is great for most of us, but for a desktop install it should automatically just select the appropriate base packages and maybe offer a desktop selection (GNOME/KDE).
In other words, there is much that can be simplified in a mode that targets desktop/workstation users. Maybe I’ll draw up some ideas to better illustrate what I’m talking about.
Glad it’s in GTK. :)
> not a troll…but why not just a nice plain easy
> to use text installer. i never understood the
> point of a gui installer..who needs graphics
> when installing the OS?
The text installer actually works very well to scare many people away. I personal have no problem with text installer, but these day it’s best to have the GUI installer to attach the more people.
> you just pick a few options set a few settings
> and you’re done. text seems to have much less
> baggage and can get the job done just the same..
In the partition part, the GUI installer will be much more clearly visible for the newbie or dummy users. The text installer doesn’t cut for them. Also, there are more people that who are rather to use mouse than the keyboard.
The GUI and mouse will get the tasks done quickly than the text and keyboard for like example in the sysinstall has scroll for country in the clock settings. I had to hold the down key to get quick then new place/window for state, but the mouse would just get there very quickly and easier.
Well it’s certainly good to see the interest that this project is bringing, though I’m determined to get this stuff done regardless of opinions of others; I really don’t want to make this another sysinstall-like bikeshed.
Regarding the fonts; that was, again, a prototype and I was mostly just playing with ideas (I threw the thing together in about 5 minutes). I agree that the left font needs to be more readable. The logo at the bottom says “Nympha” and refers to the cycle in metamorphosis that a Dragonfly spends without its wings. The font I used for this is a bit ambiguous with the letters “N” and “M”, but again, it’s just a prototype. I think the name will be changing too; Hiten Pandya isn’t very fond of it and it is indeed quite technical.
The GUI installer does not handle the installation process. It uses hints given from a back end to determine what part of the process it will be showing. There are some more in-depth articles about this avaiable in the docs/ section of the CVS repo (which is available via cvsweb). We’ve got a very good architectural design for this already hammered out and are working _very_ hard to get it ready with a kickstart, ncurses and GUI installer before the Dragonfly 1.0 release in June.
If you’re interested in contributing ideas, please feel free to join our discussion in #dfinstaller on EFNet, but note that many ideas may not be incorporated due to time constraints and the fact that we’ve already got a very good idea of what we need to do with this.
Thanks for the comments everybody; keep looking at the screenshots and CVS repo for progress :)
Looks great so far, Devon. I’d like to give you a hand – experience in Qt/GTK/C, whatever grunt work needs doing. Been dying to do something about the state of BSD installers for a while, so great that you’ve started something finally!
I’m not a big IRC user, so please respond via email.
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