The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot - BSD

This is a discussion on The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot - BSD ; jpd wrote: >> Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a >> short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order? > > Try it. Can you come up with a general solution? It ...

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Thread: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

  1. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    jpd wrote:

    >> Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    >> short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?

    >
    > Try it. Can you come up with a general solution?


    It must be nearly trivial, since SLED 10 does it. ;-)

    The criticism, whatever you may think of the tone,
    is entirely warranted. Usability is important to
    everyone except smelly geeks with plastic pocket
    protectors and birth control eyeglasses.

    I agree that it's "really ****ing stupid and lazy" to
    ask for the same disk more than once. Don't you?

    --
    Do not send me email replies -- this is a honeypot
    address for spam.

  2. The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    ROM images no access to Internet.

    Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?

    I had to do about 40 cd switches. This remembers me on the windows 3.0
    installs in 1991.

    Boys this sucks. Just because i don't have to pay for this doesn't
    mean it shouldn't be acceptable to be so bad. And i remember it was
    the same already 3 years ago.

    So thats the "Free" in FreeBSD. Free from Improvements.

  3. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    Am 18.02.2008, 17:33 Uhr, schrieb llothar :

    > I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    > ROM images no access to Internet.
    >
    > Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    > short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?
    >
    > I had to do about 40 cd switches. This remembers me on the windows 3.0
    > installs in 1991.
    >
    > Boys this sucks. Just because i don't have to pay for this doesn't
    > mean it shouldn't be acceptable to be so bad. And i remember it was
    > the same already 3 years ago.
    >
    > So thats the "Free" in FreeBSD. Free from Improvements.


    You mean to say, someone should go out of their way and do improvements to
    make your life easier, in their time, propably in their free time. Your
    cynical approach is sure going to help.

    "Free" could mean you are free to submit a patch, possibly. You haven't
    done in three years time, though.


    Michael

  4. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    llothar wrote:
    > I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    > ROM images no access to Internet.
    >
    > Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    > short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?
    >
    > I had to do about 40 cd switches. This remembers me on the windows 3.0
    > installs in 1991.
    >
    > Boys this sucks. Just because i don't have to pay for this doesn't
    > mean it shouldn't be acceptable to be so bad. And i remember it was
    > the same already 3 years ago.
    >
    > So thats the "Free" in FreeBSD. Free from Improvements.


    Let me give you some "free" advice: install *all* packages on first
    CDROM. This is very easy:
    cd /cdrom/packages/ALL
    pkg_add *
    Then you will never need to change Cdroms when installing packages
    from second cdrom.

    Of course this method worked with 2 cdroms,but not 3. With 3 cdroms,
    the best way is to use a dvdrom, and put all packages on the dvd.
    Ways to do that are available on the web.

    --

    Michel TALON


  5. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    Begin <52edf60b-7d80-4822-b3d5-204f1da1774f@s8g2000prg.googlegroups.com>
    On Mon, 18 Feb 2008 08:33:12 -0800 (PST), llothar wrote:
    > I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    > ROM images no access to Internet.


    Oh poor widdle you.


    > Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    > short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?


    Try it. Can you come up with a general solution?


    > I had to do about 40 cd switches. This remembers me on the windows 3.0
    > installs in 1991.


    Obviously you like to hang on to your happy memories.


    > Boys this sucks. Just because i don't have to pay for this doesn't
    > mean it shouldn't be acceptable to be so bad. And i remember it was
    > the same already 3 years ago.
    >
    > So thats the "Free" in FreeBSD. Free from Improvements.


    Hope the bitching did something for you. All it told us is that you like
    your negative sentiments so much you have to share them but nothing else.

    There are ways around your woes, but that would deprive you of the last
    vestiges of bitching rights, so I'll do the gentlemanly thing and keep
    them all to myself.


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  6. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    llothar wrote:
    > I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    > ROM images no access to Internet.
    >
    > Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    > short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?



    Did you not think to do a minimal installation and then copy the CDs to
    the HD and install the ones you want after?

    >
    > I had to do about 40 cd switches. This remembers me on the windows 3.0
    > installs in 1991.
    >
    > Boys this sucks. Just because i don't have to pay for this doesn't
    > mean it shouldn't be acceptable to be so bad. And i remember it was
    > the same already 3 years ago.


    Same trick would have worked then then as well

    >
    > So thats the "Free" in FreeBSD. Free from Improvements.


    No free to rewrite the installer if you wish, even rebrand it after and
    sell it if you wish.

  7. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    On 19 Feb., 02:24, Steve P wrote:
    > llothar wrote:
    > > I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    > > ROM images no access to Internet.

    >
    > > Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    > > short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?

    >
    > Did you not think to do a minimal installation and then copy the CDs to
    > the HD and install the ones you want after?


    Wrong answer. If they offer this from the installer they should do it
    right or
    not offer the installation from the ports in any way. This sucks. I'm
    tired of
    people defending mistakes and bad software just with the argument:
    It's free.

  8. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    In article ,
    llothar writes:
    > On 19 Feb., 02:24, Steve P wrote:
    >> llothar wrote:
    >> > I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    >> > ROM images no access to Internet.

    >>
    >> > Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    >> > short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?

    >>
    >> Did you not think to do a minimal installation and then copy the CDs to
    >> the HD and install the ones you want after?

    >
    > Wrong answer. If they offer this from the installer they should do it
    > right or
    > not offer the installation from the ports in any way. This sucks. I'm
    > tired of
    > people defending mistakes and bad software just with the argument:
    > It's free.


    You really don't want to hear anything contrary to your
    already formed opinion, do you? Pity. But, then, the
    BSDs are for folks who are willing to expend a little
    skull sweat to get stability and reliability.

    Might I suggest you just go back to windows, where you
    clearly belong.



    --
    Robert G. Melson | Rio Grande MicroSolutions | El Paso, Texas
    -----
    Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable
    reason so few engage in it. -- Henry Ford


  9. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    In article <1a7963a9-8553-4b9f-a92e-5ae990115362@e23g2000prf.googlegroups.com>,
    llothar writes:
    > On 19 Feb., 00:57, ta...@lpthe.jussieu.fr (Michel Talon) wrote:
    >> llothar wrote:
    >> > I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    >> > ROM images no access to Internet.

    >>
    >> > Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    >> > short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?

    >>
    >> > I had to do about 40 cd switches. This remembers me on the windows 3.0
    >> > installs in 1991.

    >>
    >> > Boys this sucks. Just because i don't have to pay for this doesn't
    >> > mean it shouldn't be acceptable to be so bad. And i remember it was
    >> > the same already 3 years ago.

    >>
    >> > So thats the "Free" in FreeBSD. Free from Improvements.

    >>
    >> Let me give you some "free" advice: install *all* packages on first
    >> CDROM. This is very easy:
    >> cd /cdrom/packages/ALL
    >> pkg_add *
    >> Then you will never need to change Cdroms when installing packages
    >> from second cdrom.
    >>
    >> Of course this method worked with 2 cdroms,but not 3. With 3 cdroms,
    >> the best way is to use a dvdrom, and put all packages on the dvd.
    >> Ways to do that are available on the web.

    >
    > I don't want to here about solutions. I know enough about pkg_add to
    > make a copy somewhere on a local ftp server.
    >
    > The only question i have is:
    > Why is this extremely bad first impression still there?


    If you can do better, then submit a patch. If you don't
    have the skills to prepare a patch, then hire someone
    who can.

    --
    Steve

  10. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    llothar writes:

    > On 19 Feb., 02:24, Steve P wrote:
    > > llothar wrote:
    > > > I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    > > > ROM images no access to Internet.

    > >
    > > > Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    > > > short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?

    > >
    > > Did you not think to do a minimal installation and then copy the CDs to
    > > the HD and install the ones you want after?

    >
    > Wrong answer. If they offer this from the installer they should do it
    > right or
    > not offer the installation from the ports in any way. This sucks. I'm
    > tired of
    > people defending mistakes and bad software just with the argument:
    > It's free.


    It's not a mistake. Some people will be installing it on minimal
    systems that don't have a couple of CD's worth of extra hard disc
    space. So your complaint only applies to the small subset of people
    who 1) Don't have broadband, and 2) Have enough space to transfer the
    install discs to their hard drives, but 3) Don't do so out of laziness
    or ignorance.

    -- Patrick


  11. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    llothar wrote:

    > and leaving the market to commercial OS vendors who are able to do
    > better.


    You've never actually used a commercial UNIX, have you?

    Alphons

    --
    All right, that does it Bill [Donahue]. I'm pretty sure that killing Jesus
    is not very Christian.
    -- pope Benedict XVI, South Park episode #158

  12. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    On Mon, 18 Feb 2008 08:33:12 -0800, llothar wrote:

    > I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    > ROM images no access to Internet.
    >
    > Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    > short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?
    >
    > I had to do about 40 cd switches. This remembers me on the windows 3.0
    > installs in 1991.


    Yeah, it's worse for 6.3 than it was in 6.1

    All the crap about copy cd's to disk is fine if you are forewarned
    of course.

    >
    > Boys this sucks. Just because i don't have to pay for this doesn't
    > mean it shouldn't be acceptable to be so bad. And i remember it was
    > the same already 3 years ago.


    I think you are justifiably peeved over the install/disk change issue.

    > So thats the "Free" in FreeBSD. Free from Improvements.


    No I wouldn't say that, the OS in the main is excellently engineered
    and improvements and advancements are in development continuously
    just as it is with most other operating systems.



    --
    ___ _______ ___ ___ ___ __ ____
    / _ \/ __/ _ | / _ \ / _ \/ _ |/ / / / /
    / // / _// __ |/ // / / ___/ __ / /_/ / /__
    /____/___/_/ |_/____/ /_/ /_/ |_\____/____/


  13. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    In article ,
    llothar wrote:

    >Wrong answer. If they offer this from the installer they should do it
    >right or not offer the installation from the ports in any way.


    Who's this "they"? What's in it for them, pleasing a grumpy sod like
    you?

    -- Richard
    --
    :wq

  14. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    On Mon, 18 Feb 2008 01:13:36 -0800,
    Michael Sierchio wrote:
    > jpd wrote:

    [yet someone else wrote:]
    >>> Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    >>> short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?

    >>
    >> Try it. Can you come up with a general solution?

    >
    > It must be nearly trivial, since SLED 10 does it. ;-)


    I don't know what they do.


    > The criticism, whatever you may think of the tone,
    > is entirely warranted.


    The tone itself is counter-productive even if the audience did get pay
    enough to deal with it. Since I'm paid exactly nothing, I don't have to
    look any further if I choose to do so.


    [snip!]
    > I agree that it's "really ****ing stupid and lazy" to
    > ask for the same disk more than once. Don't you?


    It's easy to stand besides the lines and mutter that it's really stupid
    what is going on. But let's do something radical and look at the
    complexity of the problem.

    If you want an application installed, then in the free software world
    you don't get a gazillion megabytes of massive monolithic application,
    but you get a gazillion little packages, all different. This isn't an
    ideal solution, in fact there are problems with it and more than just
    the installation distribution -- as has been discussed here previously,
    and I'm sure elsewhere as well. There is a certain logic to it, though,
    and it happens to be the status quo.

    For the smallest applications, the one package is it. Many a ``modern''
    thing sucks in libiconv at minimum, and the next choice is often
    libreadline. Some packages insist on being different and use some funky
    alternative. Eg, many popular things want curl, where others would
    prefer wget, and FreeBSD happens to come with fetch in base. Some
    packages (ports, mostly, packages less so) figure out what's already
    there and use it, some have to have their own versions.

    It gets progressively worse with larger packages. Anything from the
    mozilla foundation needs a bunch of libs nobody else uses, and they
    regularly come up with new ones, and maybe fail to remove the old ones.
    The various xDEs are various shades of complex, and XOrg 7.0 just plain
    exploded in number of packages, compared to 6.9. It was otherwise
    identical software.

    If you think that is bad, go look at the dependency graph something like
    gnucash comes with. Someone fed it through a plotting program, and the
    resulting picture probably had trouble fitting on A0. It was Big.

    In short, I don't know how many packages there are currently in the
    ports tree or how many actually ship on the cds, but the whole thing
    including the dependencies is probably fodder for a PhD on graph theory.

    Now, tell me you can find an easy solution that will distribute all
    packages such that you can guarantee a minimum amount of CD swapping
    for all possible choices of installing sets of packages. Or that
    failure to do so is ``really ****ing stupid and lazy''.

    You could make the case that a likely suboptimal but measurably more
    efficient installer than what happens now is higly desirable. I could
    agree to that. Then all that remains is coming up with a solution.

    Until then, I'm going to otherwise ignore people who are content with
    bitching a lot and doing nothing else.

    Personally, I've found an acceptable workaround and am using that. It
    and others have been discussed here often enough.


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  15. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    Am 18.02.2008, 10:13 Uhr, schrieb Michael Sierchio
    :

    > jpd wrote:
    >
    >>> Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    >>> short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?

    >> Try it. Can you come up with a general solution?

    >
    > It must be nearly trivial, since SLED 10 does it. ;-)
    >
    > The criticism, whatever you may think of the tone,
    > is entirely warranted. Usability is important to
    > everyone except smelly geeks with plastic pocket
    > protectors and birth control eyeglasses.
    >
    > I agree that it's "really ****ing stupid and lazy" to
    > ask for the same disk more than once. Don't you?
    >


    It is inconvenient for sure. But for "stupid", I don't know.

    I did install SuSE 9 from a 5-CD set a few times, and ever only providing
    each disc once.
    Sure, convenient. Until there's an upgrade to your app, you download,
    compile and install - no, ups: Requires lib.foo.bar.bla. Not on the CDs.
    Lets hunt the web... good found. rpm -iv... requires blabla.foo.bla. Not
    on the CDs. GoogleGoogleGoogle. NOT found. Damn. But wait, here is a
    lib.foo bar.bla for mandrake, lets try this. rpm -iv ... Requires
    blar.bar.foo. Not on the CDs...

    There would be, maybe, some trade-offs in having a different installer.
    Maybe you'd end up with a different packaging system.
    And thank you, I've had my share of rpm. I
    Inserting the same disc multiple times may even be _saving_ time in the
    long run. Unless, of course, you upgrade your system be installing the new
    version in full from a 5-CD set. Which is, from some users perspective,
    _more_ usable than reading the manpage of portupgrade et al.

    Now, for "lazy". This implies that changing the installer without breaking
    other functionality would, in fact, be trivial. Like in: These maintainer
    guys are so smelly and geeky that they'd rather not implenent this 10-line
    fix, just and only because they think usability is not important for them,
    so it should not matter at all.
    I do not think free software would be where it is today if this mentality
    would be very widespread.
    But then, maybe some maintainer, after being called lazy or elsewhat a
    couple of times because he does not freely give away code coded to the
    caller's expectations, but just code that works, reliably, for years, just
    doesn't give a **** about what bitchers have to say anymore. Learned that
    some people are not to be satisfied, maybe, and that what seems trivial
    can easily grow into a big project.


    Michael

  16. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    Dead Paul wrote:

    > On Mon, 18 Feb 2008 08:33:12 -0800, llothar wrote:
    >
    >> I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    >> ROM images no access to Internet.
    >>
    >> Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    >> short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?
    >>
    >> I had to do about 40 cd switches. This remembers me on the windows 3.0
    >> installs in 1991.

    >
    > Yeah, it's worse for 6.3 than it was in 6.1
    >
    > All the crap about copy cd's to disk is fine if you are forewarned
    > of course.
    >
    >>


    When I download more then CD#1 it usually means I anticipate needing some
    thing I could get from ports if I had a network connection to do it.


    I hate swapping disks almost as much as updating major amounts of software.
    So in essence if it will get run from /usr/local/* I don't bother using the
    FreeBSD CD's for it unless I have to, cvsup being one exception when
    necessary ;-).


    What ever versions of software get shipped on disk; ports will always be
    more up to date *eventually* so it's worth while to use ports. In a
    corporate setting who knows I might do things differently but at home it's
    easier to just plug, cup, and build.


    I've never bitched though because while I hate playing "disk jockey" with my
    CD-ROM drive, I didn't have to go through the trouble of preparing the ISO
    image(s) either !

    This thread reminds me why all of my music is on my hard drives and the
    Audio CD's gather dust xD



    --
    A man marries to have a home, but also because he doesn't want to be
    bothered with sex and all that sort of thing.
    -- W. Somerset Maugham, "The Circle"

  17. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    llothar wrote:

    > I had to install 6.3. in my hotel room this evening only using the CD-
    > ROM images no access to Internet.


    I always ensure my equipment is ready for travel prior to leaving. All the
    hotels I've been put up in for the last 10 years have had broadband access
    in every room. At least you seem to have remembered to bring along the CDs.

    > Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    > short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?


    Well, yes it would be difficult because the package builders have no real
    way of knowing in advance what a user is going to install. Not impossible,
    mind you, but also not a high priority as many FreeBSD users seem to get
    along just fine the way things are.

    > I had to do about 40 cd switches. This remembers me on the windows 3.0
    > installs in 1991.


    Reminds me of SCO and Banyan Vines. Stacks of floppies! But there is a
    difference in philosophies between the Windows world and the Unices. In the
    Windows world any consumer can click "OK" in a few dozen dialog boxes and
    believe himself to be computer literate, while in the *Nix world you're
    actually expected to know some stuff.

    > Boys this sucks. Just because i don't have to pay for this doesn't
    > mean it shouldn't be acceptable to be so bad. And i remember it was
    > the same already 3 years ago.


    And many of those who have been using FreeBSD for a long time don't use the
    packages from the CDs. The dependencies are already out of date and since
    an update is going to be required anyway most just refresh their ports tree
    and go from there.

    Me, I only use disk1 to install the operating system, refresh the ports
    tree, then build everything from ports. I only do fresh installs very
    infrequently; most of the time I only update what needs updating.

    > So thats the "Free" in FreeBSD. Free from Improvements.


    Well you are welcome to improve FreeBSD. Talk has begun again concerning
    placing all the software on a DVD. That would take care of the "40 cd
    switches". But you are welcome to fix it yourself, I'm sure there are those
    who would enjoy such a thing. Ranting to a newsgroup doesn't change much of
    anything.

    You can rant all you want, but the bottom line is if you don't like FreeBSD
    simply *do not* use it! Personally, if I were you I would take a hard look
    at how and why I came to be installing FreeBSD in a hotel room in the first
    place. There's just something about _that_ which seems like it may be more
    responsible for the rant than any problem concerning FreeBSD. YMMV.

    Just my $.02

    -Jason



  18. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    Michael Sierchio wrote:
    > jpd wrote:
    >
    > >> Wow, this sucks. Is it so difficult for the maintainers to write a
    > >> short sort routine on the packages sorting in Disk order?

    > >
    > > Try it. Can you come up with a general solution?

    >
    > It must be nearly trivial, since SLED 10 does it. ;-)
    >
    > The criticism, whatever you may think of the tone,
    > is entirely warranted. Usability is important to
    > everyone except smelly geeks with plastic pocket
    > protectors and birth control eyeglasses.
    >
    > I agree that it's "really ****ing stupid and lazy" to
    > ask for the same disk more than once. Don't you?
    >


    I think everybody agrees that the FreeBSD installer, the ports system,
    etc. require a complete redesign. Of course, everything here is
    interdependent, for exemple designing a good upgrade mechanism for the
    ports system, correctly dealing with dependencies, gives a building block
    for a ports installing system in the installer. However this is a very
    big and delicate task, and most of FreeBSD developers are kernel
    programmers, not much userspace developers and far less usability
    specialists. This may explain why obsolete tools are still in use long
    after they should have been replaced, simply because they are good
    enough to allow knowledgeable people to do their job. Also there is a
    strong and vocal cast of self proclaimed power users who only swear
    by the tools they know, and find great satisfaction in the fact that
    their shortcomings repel "morons" towards Linux. One may however have
    some hope, in the last status report
    http://www.freebsd.org/news/status/r...0-2007-12.html
    one can find two projects aiming to replace the installer and the ports
    system. If they succeed (all previous such projects have failed)
    perhaps FreeBSD will catch up in usability with other free systems.

    --

    Michel TALON


  19. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    Begin
    On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 09:10:09 +0000 (UTC),
    Michel Talon wrote:
    > I think everybody agrees that the FreeBSD installer, the ports system,
    > etc. require a complete redesign.


    I don't know that, actually. There are definately things that could
    stand improvement. From memory, like the default yellow on blue that
    isn't all that easy to read and is worse on Xterms. The logic of key
    inputs is a bit of a nuisance too. Some of the menu logic is frankly a
    bit cracked. But whether fixing those and adding a few wishes here and
    there requires a complete redesign, I don't know.

    With a bit of experience it isn't all that difficult to make it install
    a base system inside of 10 minutes, reboot, and have a running system.
    A system without packages, perhaps, but with all the usual tools to get
    started. At that point it's easy to bypass all the inherent limitations
    of trying to do things to a system that might or might not be bootable.

    The installer, in that respect, does what an installer is expected
    to do, even if inefficiently in extreme cases. It allows me choices
    even if some choices aren't good ideas and/or could stand improvement.
    Personally, I've had to use worse, much worse.

    Similarly, the ports system, while certainly not perfect, has a certain
    elegance to it. It also is not that difficult to teach it new tricks. So
    I don't really see the need for a full replacement.


    > Of course, everything here is interdependent, for exemple designing a
    > good upgrade mechanism for the ports system, correctly dealing with
    > dependencies, gives a building block for a ports installing system in
    > the installer.


    You're confusing correctly with efficiently here. Besides, if you
    are installing a new system, there is no point in worrying about
    dependencies of already installed packages.

    Thinking about what I wrote last night a bit more, the logic of coming
    up with a reasonable partitioning and ordering thing probably isn't NP
    hard, but it does require caching the entire dependency tree and laying
    out the CDs previously for it. This as opposed to laying them out for,
    say, maximum fit.

    I'll admit that the apparent currenct practice of walking down the list
    alphabetically is pretty pessimal for some selections. OTOH, coming up
    with something that'll fetch the dependency tree to cache and takes a
    stab at laying it out halfway usably might easily be added as another
    ports make target.

    On another note, one might venture to just force-install everything
    without regards to whether dependencies are already installed, then fix
    up the dependency database once everything is done, hoping no dependency
    will turn out to have failed somehow. The risk there is that stopping
    halfway for any reason is likely to present a system with lots of things
    installed, none working.


    I note that I have moved to wanting to come up with a running system
    and only then worry about installing packages on other systems as well,
    as I've found that wanting to also install massive amounts of packages
    tends to put enough pressure on installers as to make many unstable.
    FreeBSD's installer, in that respect, allows much easier choice than
    many more ``modern'' ones.

    The last time I installed a debian or redhat system it took more time
    to deselect lots of the preselected things I never wanted in the first
    place than to bring up a minimal FreeBSD system including partitioning
    and rebooting. Fancy graphics and self-congratulatory advertisements in
    apparent emulation of certain other systems notwithstanding.


    > Also there is a strong and vocal cast of self proclaimed power users
    > who only swear by the tools they know, and find great satisfaction in
    > the fact that their shortcomings repel "morons" towards Linux.


    *cough* This is different from COLA crowds and rabid windows users, how?
    Not to mention apple interface acolytes, and other people liking *their*
    system above all others.

    Nevermind the opposite, of people vocally demanding change but for some
    reason or another failing to convince others of their convictions.


    I think that if you want to change things over, and moreover, come up
    with a better tool, it would need to actually be better in a way that
    caters to its users. FreeBSD, as oftentimes observed, caters to people
    that are at least somewhat knowledgeable. If that happens to leave out
    people who don't know how to take care of themselves it might very well
    mean the target audience plainly does not care. It also means that if
    your solution or improvement is not an actual improvement for that
    crowd, then it does not care about that, either.


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  20. Re: The 6.3. FreeBSD Install sucks a lot

    jpd wrote:
    > The installer, in that respect, does what an installer is expected
    > to do, even if inefficiently in extreme cases. It allows me choices
    > even if some choices aren't good ideas and/or could stand improvement.
    > Personally, I've had to use worse, much worse.


    The standard now seems to be a cdrom booting to a live system, and then
    an installer benefiting from all the goodies coming with a full system.
    For example the "BSD installer" which is used in DragonFlyBSD is of this
    sort, and of course the Ubuntu installer. Personnally i find the Ubuntu
    installer gorgeous, and the example to follow (*). Very weak points of the
    FreeBSD installer are all the stuff about fdisk and disklabel, which are
    quite unusable, and worse buggy. The most ancient and persistant bug is
    the mishandling of geometry settings which has caused tons of questions
    in newsgroups and mailing lists. Similarly sysinstall forgets to
    reserve 16 sectors for the label at the beginning of partitions, like
    bsdlabel says:
    "The first partition should start at offset 16,
    because the first 16 sectors are reserved for metadata."
    This causes trouble when trying mirror configurations etc. More
    generally sysinstall is unable to cope with all the modern features of
    FreeBSD, geom mirrors, ZFS, etc.

    >
    > Similarly, the ports system, while certainly not perfect, has a certain
    > elegance to it. It also is not that difficult to teach it new tricks. So
    > I don't really see the need for a full replacement.
    >


    I was thinking port + portupgrade, of course. But my opinion is that
    ports need rethinking to allow building a portupgrade that really works.
    I must confess that the problem is so complicated that i don't have a
    clear vue of the needed modifications. However modifications are
    certainly needed since at present port developers need to add notes in
    UPDATING as a band aid to solve some complex cases which cannot be
    solved automatically. Another consideration is the general slowness of
    this system which is incompatible with the present situations where you
    may have currently 1000 ports installed (notably with the new Xorg
    modularisation).


    >
    > > Of course, everything here is interdependent, for exemple designing a
    > > good upgrade mechanism for the ports system, correctly dealing with
    > > dependencies, gives a building block for a ports installing system in
    > > the installer.

    >
    > You're confusing correctly with efficiently here. Besides, if you
    > are installing a new system, there is no point in worrying about
    > dependencies of already installed packages.


    Yes, there is if you want to correctly dispatch the packages on cdroms
    and to correctly use the cdroms without constantly exchanging them.

    >
    > I note that I have moved to wanting to come up with a running system
    > and only then worry about installing packages on other systems as well,


    Same for me. We all end up doing network installation of ports because
    it works really better.

    >
    > I think that if you want to change things over, and moreover, come up
    > with a better tool, it would need to actually be better in a way that
    > caters to its users.


    This is the root of the problem. If you cater to the needs of *present*
    users you may very well deter a lot of potential *future* users of
    trying your system. I think that if someone comes with an obviously
    better system (not an easy task), this will convince the first circle
    of FreeBSD developers (who are quite critical about the status quo)
    and the sheep will follow.

    (*) In particular there is nothing in the FreeBSD world coming close to
    the wonderful ONE CDROM for Ubuntu (yes, one, not two or three stupid
    cdroms) allowing both to try a live system, and to install it to the
    point of having a completly functional system, including Desktop
    manager, Office suite, etc.


    --

    Michel TALON


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