Remaining issues for the multi desktop DVD (was: Re: Dear Fedora board, please open your trac)

Christoph Wickert christoph.wickert at
Wed Jan 12 18:08:17 UTC 2011

Am Mittwoch, den 12.01.2011, 11:48 -0500 schrieb Máirín Duffy:
> On Wed, 2011-01-12 at 09:51 -0600, inode0 wrote:
> > Grandma would already be confronted by such a menu using any current
> > installation or live boot media. What you are saying to me is just
> > that all our current media sucks and this one would too.
> Actually she wouldn't be exposed to that menu at all, unless she pressed
> enter to interrupt the syslinux countdown screen. 

Wrong, the menu is shown by default and if no choice is made, It will
boot into 32 bit GNOME live. Please take a look at the prototype or the
wiki page at

It is really frustrating to see that I did a prototype back in October
and the people that are to approve it don't care. Now I was asked to do
a wiki page, which I did, but again, people don't bother. This is so
frustrating. :(

> How does it provide a hassle at every boot? I'm confused here. What I
> think would be a hassle is having to reboot just to try out a different
> desktop.... with a GDM-controlled selection you could simply log out of
> one and log back in, no reboot required. 

      * With a GDM you dont get the full experience of the Spin/Desktop.
        People need to see KDM for KDE and LXDM for LXDE. Oherwise they
        don't get what they install, which would be a violation of the
        spins guidelines.
      * We don't have a way to install the different spins if everything
        is one media. 
      * Even if we had the technology to do this, we would need to do QA
        all over again.
      * This QA would then not cover all test cases. One desktop test
        case for example is that the display manager works and unlocks
        the keyrings automatically (if applicable).
      * If we don't provide the original ISOs, people cannot burn CDs or
        create USB keys from the media.

> If you're trying out different
> things, having to reboot at every choice I think discourages it. Plus,
> for the use case of an ambassador at a show with only one or two laptops
> to demo things, having to stand there while the thing reboots might be a
> hassle, especially if you miss the syslinux timeout. Depending I am
> thinking it could be a difference of < 30 seconds to log-out / log-in to
> 3-4 minutes for reboot and keeping an eye on syslinux

First of all you are wrong with the menu, second are exaggerating times,
third the ambassadors often have demo laptops with all desktops
installed and last but not least the ambassadors *decided* that they
want the multi-desktop DVD because it makes their live way easier: No
more guessing what people will request, one media fits all. Easier
distribution and less leftovers and even less costs.

> > > Note that in no way am I saying that this is not a good idea, simply
> > > the implementation could use work, and that implementation reflects
> > > (for better or worse) on the Fedora brand.
> > 
> > The reaction I would like to see from the board is one based on its
> > trust that these people probably know what they are talking about. 

+10, especially when board members don't have a clue ehat they are
voting about.

> > How
> > can the board help them make it happen? Three areas have been
> > identified: releng, QA, and design. Whatever issues need to be
> > resolved in these three areas may or may not need the board's
> > involvement, but I think it is clear that encouragement from the board
> > to get this done would help get it done.
> I tried to engage and while I'd prefer to not say anything at all... the
> amount of intense negativity directed towards me as a result of trying
> to engage seriously frightened and completely dismayed me. We need more
> civility around this initiative. When negative energy is unleashed folks
> really need to stand against it and contain it, and not just sit back
> and let it run rampant over and over again. That is what happened last
> time, and I honestly had to set up filters to block some messages in
> order to remain productive. 
> In short, the multispin initiative is a good idea and a damn shame it's
> been tainted with such negativity.

Nice to see we agree here. But we seem to have another different meaning
of the word negativity: For me the most negative thing is to not look at
the work we are doing, and not to read the details I present but ask
more questions in return. This is not targeted at you, Mo, but about
many people involved in this discussion.

Can you give me a single example of not slowing me down with questions,
ether valid concerns or based on misinformation but moving forward with
constructive suggestions, ideas or even the offer to help from a board
member? Only Jared and a few other people, who unfortunately are not
board members did that.

> > Many of the interested parties in this discussion will be in Tempe
> > very soon. Why don't we just sit down in person there where I'm sure
> > we can do this more productively?
> +1

While I'd like to have a session about this fact to face, I cannot
promise that I'm still at FUDCon because of my illness. And we will
definitely miss FOSDEM and a few other events because of further delay.
FODSEM is really important because we use it for distribution: There are
many ambassadors from different countries and they pick up large numbers
of media for further distribution.

> Honestly I could live with a syslinux menu to choose between spins
> (although I still think it's far from ideal) to get this out the door
> sooner, but the problem is the menu as it was presented to the board
> some months ago was the squint-equivalent of:
> Fedora-14-ekjhgkehg-13984293085-dskldsjfglds-desktop-le3ht45398hgon3o4-x86_64
> Fedora-14-ekjhgkehg-13984293085-dskldsjfglds-kde-le3ht45398hgon3o4-x86_64
> Fedora-14-ekjhgkehg-13984293085-dskldsjfglds-lxde-le3ht45398hgon3o4-x86_64
> Fedora-14-ekjhgkehg-13984293085-dskldsjfglds-xfce-le3ht45398hgon3o4-x86_64
> Fedora-14-ekjhgkehg-13984293085-dskldsjfglds-himom-le3ht45398hgon3o4-x86_64
> This kind of sloppiness is simply not acceptable and is avoided
> altogether using separate pressed media, because the sleeve designs of
> the media serve this purpose instead and are written out far more
> cleanly and clearly. 

Will you please look at the protoype or at

> See
> for a list of suggestions for improvement (they were ignored before, I'm not sure why ), although since we've done some more thinking about syslinux's layout for F15 I'd revise it now to suggest the following:
> Welcome to Fedora 14! Select a desktop to try below:
> * Try Desktop
> * Try KDE Plasma Desktop
> * Try LXDE Desktop
> * Try XFCE Desktop
> * Verify media

This has been implemented already in October.

> I would also suggest giving the new syslinux config & graphics I put
> together a shot to make the menu appear a lot nicer.... here's the files
> and instructions:

While this looks indeed interersting, we are sill targeting F14, so we
should go with what the other spins and installed systems have.


P.S.: I'm in hospital and might not be able to participate in this
discussion for the next few days. This will be my last mail for now and
I'd like to ask people to move the discussion to

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