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Fedora 18 Installer: Counterintuitive and Confusing? 458

An anonymous reader writes "Igor Ljubuncic, former physicist and current IT Systems Programmer and blogger, reviews Fedora 18 with its new installer. In his role as alter ego Dedoimedo, the self proclaimed 'king of everything', Igor's Linux distro and DE reviews are often wry and biting and this review is no exception: 'You enter a world of smartphone-like diarrhea that undermines everything and anything that is sane and safe. In all my life testing Linux and other operating systems, I have never ever seen an installer that is so counter-intuitive, dangerous and useless, all at the same time.'" The non-linear installer interface does look like kind of confusing, at least from the screenshots posted.
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Fedora 18 Installer: Counterintuitive and Confusing?

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  • Re:I must agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 21, 2013 @11:40PM (#42653647)

    No. Just no. It's perfectly fine to have an opinion, even a bad opinion, and not doing anything past the expression of the opinion. It's not his job to fix Fedora. It's not the job of the users to fix Fedora. It's the job of the team working on it. If someone wants to contribute, good for them, but to each their own. The whole "It's open source, so fix it yourself and shut up" is getting really old. I love open source, but I hate people with your attitude.

  • Re:I must agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @11:42PM (#42653653)

    You know what? If Igor thinks can do it better, then he should fork that thing and roll his own distro.

    Lots of people have something to complain about, but very very few pitch in and try to help or change things.

    'Shut up or fork it' is a criticism I regularly hear directed to people complaining about an Open Source project, and it's a really stupid criticism.

    The fact you can fork or even patch doesn't mean you lose the right to complain if you don't.

    Complaining offers feedback, it tells the devs what the issues are, both issues they didn't know existed and issues they didn't know were a big problem.

    The ability to fork is more of a check on the devs then a regular threat. It stops devs from doing really stupid things that might create a fork or drive people to a new one, and it sometimes lets two projects go in different directions to better serve the userbase.

    Remember, users are not the enemy, if you treat them like they are the enemy, well then you won't have enemies for long.

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @11:47PM (#42653685) Journal

    You know what? If Igor thinks can do it better, then he should fork that thing and roll his own distro.

    Or, instead of forking, contribute a patch or two to improve things.
    I thought I could improve RAID in the Linux kernel, so I did. Patch accepted, so now when I download a new version of Linux, it includes my fix and thousand of improvements others have made. I thought I could improve Apache, so I did. Patch accepted. I thought I could improve Moodle in a half a dozen ways. Half a dozen patches accepted. I thought I could improve Linux:LVM. I'm now the maintainer.

    Forking is the last resort, when no reasonable patches are accepted. If you don't like the way something works in OSS, contribute a fix.

  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @11:47PM (#42653687)

    For those of us fed up where with where distros are going these days, it's looking to me like Linux Mint is probably the place I'm going to end up. I want a system I can understand, manipulate and use. Crap like this installer, the new systemd stuff, I just don't need or want. Sadly it looks like Microsoft has little to fear as we're doing a good job of taking ourselves out of the game and market without them having to do much.

    Given that the installer is so dangerous, I cannot recommend F18 to any non-expert. Who knows what it will do to your existing windows or linux installs. Maybe F18 should be considered VM only?

  • Re:I must agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by atomican ( 2799855 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @12:03AM (#42653795)

    Remember, users are not the enemy, if you treat them like they are the enemy, well then you won't have enemies for long.

    This is more insightful than you think. It's also pretty damn obvious (but not to discredit you writing it, as it's still a good point as it's apparently not that obvious to a lot of people).

    If you treat your users with contempt, they will not deal with you any longer than they have to. Once they can find a way to live without you, they will piss off at the first opportunity. Unfortunately there are many people in the open source community who do think their users are idiots and treat them as the enemy when they complain about the direction some software is taking (GNOME 3, Ubuntu, etc). Not just the developers but OTHER USERS in particular treat people as the enemy because they don't agree with them. Why the fuck? Linux users are the minority species in the first place - the last thing we need is needless fighting amongst ourselves.

    Sometimes all a person can do is complain, but that doesn't mean the complaint is baseless. It has a use if it's part of a culmination of complaints as it shows user dissatisfaction. And that can be enough of a sign that things are going down the wrong path in itself.

  • Re:I must agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UltraZelda64 ( 2309504 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @12:13AM (#42653843)

    Don't worry, this same thing exists in proprietary/commercial software, where you are not only paying just for the privilege to even use the software, but you have to hope that their vision doesn't stray too far from you consider appropriate. See Windows 8: If someone slams it and the Metro interface, or even just changes to the way the traditional desktop itself functions, you can guarantee there will be people around to bitch because you're using your right to free speech to criticize a product... that you have to pay an arm and a leg for in the first place!

    Fuck them. If someone or something deserves a reality check in the form of a good slamming, then that's exactly what they should get.

  • Re:What FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @12:24AM (#42653903) Homepage Journal

    It doesn't look like FUD exactly. That bit about two HD icons with identical model names side by side in no particular order isn't a geek vs. non-geek issue, it's a bad UI decision.

    No auto login isn't geek vs. non-geek either, nor is having to root around on the fs to find the installer.

    Things like that are just broken for geeks and non-geeks alike. It's a big step backwards from the old installer.

  • by Kenshin ( 43036 ) <> on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @12:24AM (#42653911) Homepage

    So basically what you're saying is that in order to have any right to complain about open source software you have to have knowledge, experience, and skill in programming? Because when you say "Why don't you submit a patch?", that's what you're implying.

    Newsflash: Not every user of FOSS software knows how to program. Nor should they need to know. Unless you want it to turn into some sort of exclusive little club, in which case the worldwide share of Linux would drop by a good 99%.

    Users aren't complaining because they want to be whiny or difficult. They're complaining because they see a flaw. If you want your software to be widely accepted, listen. If your software is just coding for self satisfaction, and you don't care about user adoption, then don't listen.

  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @12:26AM (#42653915)

    Even when both user and dev are programmers of the same skill level there's a huge gulf in knowledge. A 5 hour patch for the user might be a 5 minute job for a dev since they've already learned the code. So I generally use my dev skills to give a really good description of the problem and test cases. Usually the only times I write a patch are when it's a feature specifically for me, or I've gone into so much detail finding the bug I already found the fix. I consider that to be a good contribution to the community and on projects I've managed in the past I really appreciated users who gave good bug reports.

    Tone is also a big factor of course, I find general nagging to be more acceptable for a large project where the individual devs have less personal stake in the project (and are more likely to be paid). Ragging on a one person hobby project is just kinda pointless.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @12:39AM (#42653977) Homepage Journal

    Agreed. Debian got it right. Installation is a mostly linear process. There may be some steps that can be skipped in some cases, but the order will not really change. You never install the base system before partitioning the drive, etc. I am an expert and I very rarely have any need or desire to go out of order with a Debian installation.

    I appreciate that Fedora wants to accommodate those rare cases, but doing away with all concept of a linear order isn't the way to do it. I can't imagine what they're thinking with Fedora.

  • by fast turtle ( 1118037 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @12:43AM (#42654003) Journal

    Screw Linux Mint. if you want a true traditional system then go with Linux from Scratch and roll your own. Alternatively, go with Gentoo and have more control then any of the other distro's offer.

    My personal reasons for using Gentoo was the fact that it was actually the closest to what the Floss/Oss standard actually said while ensuring that you the user had the needed control to roll your own kernel when Debian had already made it damn difficult and the attitude on the forums/lists was RTFA NOOBIE. Sorry but if I understood the fine manual, I wouldn't be asking someone to clairify things would I and from the beginning the Gentoo Community was far more responsive and willing to help folks learn instead of $rm-f / as some idiots thought was funny to tell a new debian user to do.

    I'm a piss poor programmer but I've started learning what I can of python just to revamp portage in "C" as I feel that a python dependency in the base build is stupid to say the least and if I'm successful, I'll be moving to LFS (linux from scratch) to roll my own. Something like Slackware but with emphasis on "what I want" from my system. That's the real beauty of Linux. I can do that and I can share my toys with anyone who wants to play with them.

  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @12:52AM (#42654039)

    The KDE team has a touch interface. It's pretty good.

    It's called Plasma Active []

    They just keep it separate from the Desktop interface, because you know, desktops and handhelds are different things.

    I wish Microsoft knew this.


  • by mewyn ( 663989 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @12:57AM (#42654061) Homepage
    Why is providing feedback whining to you? I find it to be more helpful than random patches or other contributions.

    Thing is, I don't want everyone and their brother submitting patches to a project I work on. I prefer the coding to be done by a core group of people I've vetted and know they are willing to maintain what they submit. I'd much rather get feedback to see if my ideas are headed in the right way my userbase wants it to be headed. Sure, I don't always go in that direction, but it's helpful to see what they want. And it way beats a poorly written patch submitted by someone who doesn't want to maintain it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @01:03AM (#42654095)

    I've got a patch in Apache but it's not like I expect everyone to be able to do that. You do realize only a select set of people are competent enough to do this right?

  • Re:What FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TCM ( 130219 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @02:20AM (#42654379)

    You have to acknowledge some of his points. Showing two identical disk names without any further distinction is retarded, there's just no way around it.

    Don't treat users like stupid sheep who'd be confused by /dev/sda or whatever it is. You take away all starting-points for them to even learn something. I didn't learn UNIX because everything was hidden away from me, I learned it because I _saw_ stuff and it made sense.

    Dont hide details. Have them make sense.

  • Re:I must agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smash ( 1351 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @03:24AM (#42654653) Homepage Journal

    Actually apple write stuff that generally works.

    Find a mac and reinstall the OS on it some time. It is the epitomy of painless. It is safe by default and will not wipe out your data. It has a consistent UI.

    The problem is everyone copying the widget set Apple us, without doing any of the back-end engineering to make it work. IMHO the UI fluff on the mac is the LEAST impressive aspect of OS X - the underlying layers of Quartz, Core storage, fs-events, Grand Central, etc. are all far more impressive in terms of engineering - and while the muppets putting out Fedora are focusing on killing the advantages Linux has by reducing options in the name of UI simplification and BREAKING SHIT in the process, Apple is doing more work in the back end to bring stuff about like SSD caching that solves real world problems (e.g.. "i has an ssd and a hd and but don't want to manually manage storage").

    Linux devs! Stop breaking Linux to make it UI-simple. Make the back end stuff work properly.

    If i want to use something that looks like a Mac, it better WORK like a Mac underneath. Something that looks like a mac but doesn't work is not going to cut it. The UI is very much a secondary reason as to why I am a Mac user today, and used to be a Linux user prior to 2006.

  • Distro families (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @03:26AM (#42654663)
    While suggesting alternatives, it's good to suggest members of the same 'family' of distros, since the user might have had reasons for picking one. If someone's trying out Fedora, then alternatives would be PCLinuxOS, Mageia, Mandriva, Blag or Scientific Linux. If one is trying out Ubuntu, one might want to go w/ Mint, Hybryde, Zorin, Trisquel or any of the others. If one was w/ Slackware, try out Vector, Slax, Salix or Slackel. If one was w/ Gentoo, try out Sabayon or Calculate Linux. If one was w/ Arch, try out Chakra, Frugalware or Manjaro. In short, suggest something that's more likely to preserve most of the attributes of a distro, while avoiding the rough edges.
  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @03:32AM (#42654687) Journal

    If you want control, screw Gentoo and go with Arch. There's no good reason to rebuild everything from source, when vast majority of packages are going to result in the same exact binaries all the time.

    However, most people don't want a "true traditional system" in a sense of hundreds of terminals running vim. They want a simple to install distro that more or less just works and gets out of their way, but still lets them get down to the shell or muck around with configs when they want (as opposed to all the time). Today, Mint is pretty much the perfect distro for that. Or, perhaps, LMDE is.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @03:44AM (#42654757) Journal

    If you wind up with the same packages, you're doing it wrong. The reason to compile from scratch is that you can tell the compiler to use optimizations appropriate for the processor you're using.

    Have you done profiling on any packages built with all those ultra-specialized optimization flags to see how much it actually benefits you?

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken