What is the fascination with 'spins'
n0dalus+redhat at gmail.com
Mon Feb 5 01:40:19 UTC 2007
On 2/5/07, monty19@ hotmail.com <monty19 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Personally, I think having separate ISO images for Desktop, Developer,
> Server, KDE, and whatever else is a pretty silly idea. It's one of the main
> reasons I don't like Ubuntu. I run Fedora on a system I would classify as a
> server, and one I would classify as a Desktop, although some would seem to
> classify it as a Developer Workstation, despite my rather sincere belief
> that I am not a developer. Reagardless of classification though, it takes
> just one DVD to install any systems I have. That's just me at home with two
> computers I run Linux on; now consider those in an IT environment and how
> many systems in how many different roles they may be supporting. How big a
> collection of discs is he going to need? And if you're going to point at
> that individual and say he should be using RHEL, or something similar, then
> why have a server spin at all?
> I look at it this way; if you're going to download two ISO images, then why
> not download two that have all the packages you want. Why download a server
> disc, and a desktop disc, which may both be lacking packages you want to
> install, and then are forced to download anyway...
Maybe a solution would be to have a combined DVD of the most popular
spins. During the install, it should present you with a list of the
groups (spins), along with good descriptions, and allow people to tick
the ones they want. By default just the desktop group should be
I don't know if the installer currently allows this, but if you are
installing using a desktop spin disc, it would be cool if it gave you
the option to insert discs of other spins at that point.
As a side note, is there any logging in place to try and see what are
the most popular packages on the mirrors? It'd be interesting to see
which packages not included by default in the distro are downloaded a
lot (and maybe should be included).
As a more important side note, it is time to do something about our
terrible download page, especially now that we are going to have so
many isos! Currently the user goes to the page and sees the following
options: "torrent", "i386", "x86_64", "ppc" -- what the heck do these
mean to most computer users? These then lead to pages with no
instructions of how to use an ISO. And if they decide to use a mirror,
they will end up in a directory index with no indication of where the
ISOs are (it takes me, a fairly experienced Fedora user, a couple of
minutes to find the right folder) and users often end up with the
wrong discs (SRPMs or wrong arch).
The download page should have nice graphics and layout (not just text
-- look at the Firefox download page for instance), and should explain
on that page what the different spins are. The user then clicks a spin
and gets taken to a slightly different page, listing the arches and
explaining the difference is between the arches and how to find out
which one you are using (it should say "Step 2/3" somewhere, so users
don't think they are starting some long wizard process). After a user
clicks on their arch, It should show a slightly different page, with a
drop-down box for mirrors (not too prominent). Instead of linking to a
directory index it should provide the links directly to each of the
discs, on the download page. Ther should also be prominent links to
pages explaining how to burn an ISO and how to use a torrent -- these
shouldn't just be text links at the bottom of the page, they need to
be big, graphical and stand out.
One or two of my cents,
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