low-hanging fruit

David Zeuthen davidz at redhat.com
Fri Aug 17 15:21:54 UTC 2007

On Fri, 2007-08-17 at 11:37 +0200, Nils Philippsen wrote:
> Speaking as a developer as well, I don't think the use case you describe
> is as widespread as you think it is.
> Compare your "David" persona to my "Manolo" one who just wants to build
> another kernel with some unnamed patch that won't ever make it upstream
> (or into Fedora) and needs another half gig of space quickly but
> his /home is filled up to only 150 megs being free due to all the movies
> he recorded with his DVB card. Now with LVM, "Manolo" can do:
> lv_extend -L +1G /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01
> resize2fs -p /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01
> After about a minute -- if you count in time to read man pages, perhaps
> less if there's a tool that let's him tdo that in a GUI -- he's ready
> for another round of kernel building. Don't you think that having to
> "sudo cp vmlinuz /boot" isn't too much a hassle for "David" compared to
> the benefits for "Manolo"?

Yes, I've read http://tldp.org/HOWTO/LVM-HOWTO/extendlv.html and am well
aware of LVM. You make several assumptions here: 1) that /home is on a
separate partition; 2) that there actually is space somewhere to add
to /home. So it's not at all as easy as you make it look. Lots of

One way to avoid such scenarios is just avoid having multiple file
systems; e.g. for a desktop distro it's probably sane to only a single
file system. I'm not opposed to using LVM for this (so people can add a
2nd hard disk though this is really a corner case) or... some day in a
star trek future a file system like ZFS / btrfs / whatever with storage
pool support etc. 

I simply just want to avoid asking techno babble questions in the
installer; I just want a simple slider with "HOW MUCH FEDORA CAN YOU
HANDLE" as I posted in the other mail. No techno babble. However, again,
that does _not_ mean we can't use LVM or whatever under the covers if we
want to. But it's only really going to be useful if you have 2nd hard
disk in your system and I think the percentage of our demographic where
that is true at any point in time is pretty low.

Your point about the lack of decent UI tools to do this is a good one
however. Ideally there should be a single point in the UI where some
user can click a button "add this harddrive to my system" and the right
thing just happens.

> It's Friday after all, so don't automatically assume that you're the
> target audience ;-).

It's funny you bring this up.

Apparently members of your target audience knows how to use LVM (and
hopefully they know that it's lvextend, not lv_extend :-).... and is
able to make a distinction between a PV, LV and VG's? Or.. wait.. maybe
they follow one of the "HOWTO's" out there and maybe get it right the
2nd or 3rd time they try. I certainly have blown up my PV's and LV's
playing around with LVM.. Right.. Also.. it's supposed to be "fun" and
"we learn about Linux" dealing with UNIX command line tools specifically
designed to be unforgiving [1]. Right... _that_ target audience. 

I don't think so.

So while that target audience may be OK for mainline Fedora where
administrators are installing servers and workstations in enterprises /
whatever and know what they're doing, I don't think it's fine for what
we're talking about here: A derivative of Fedora intended for human
beings using ths OS on laptops / home desktop systems. Please don't
throw techno babble at them.

This is one of the crucial differences we need to make between mainline
Fedora and what we're doing here. That we specifically can assume that
the user is not an expert administrator.


[1] : I can't find the link / quote here but UNIX commandline tools are
designed to be mostly hostile / unforgiving; e.g. actually do what the
user wants because they assume that the user is actually an expert.
While that's good for experts.. it's not really good for novices who
just wants to get the job done.

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