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  • Recognizing that both [http://www.gnome.org GNOME] and [http://www.kde.org KDE] exist, we will support the use of both, and make sure they work well on Debian.

  • We recognize that there are only two important classes of users: the novice, and the expert. We will do everything we can to make things very easy for the novice, while allowing the expert to tweak things if they like.
  • In line with our motto, we will work to support and improve all software which eases the burden of configuration required by the end user. This means we will integrate software such as discover (http://packages.debian.org/discover) into the Debian installation process and the running Debian system. We will make sure that installation (including configuring the ["XWindowSystem"]) is as easy and foolproof as possible.

  • We will try to ensure that software is configured for the most common desktop use. For instance, the regular user account added by default during installation should have permission to play audio and video, print, and manage the system through sudo.
  • We will integrate an easy-to-use system management utility into the standard Debian installation. There are several choices in this area; [http://www.webmin.com webmin] (http://packages.debian.org/webmin) and Ximian Setup Tools (a.k.a. GNOME System Tools)(http://packages.debian.org/ximian-setup-tools) look the most promising. There is also the [http://magiconf.sheflug.co.uk/ ?MagiConf] project.

  • We will try to ensure that questions which are asked of the user (which should be kept to a minimum) make sense even with a minimum of computer knowledge. Many Debian packages today present the user with difficult technical details. For example, if you simply select the "desktop environment" and "development environment" tasks during a woody installation, the first thing you will be presented with after all the packages are downloaded is a debconf prompt from binutils (http://packages.debian.org/binutils) about "kernel link failure info". To the novice, this kind of thing is confusing and frightening. To the expert, this is annoying and unnecessary. Right after this question is one from [http://www.greenwoodsoftware.com/less/ less] (http://packages.debian.org/less) which asks something about a MIME handler. A novice doesn't even know what MIME is. An expert can configure less however they like it after the installation is complete. The priority of these kinds of Debconf questions should be at least lowered. (Happily, many of these issues are already fixed for the sarge release using debian-installer, which will make the default debconf priority be "high").

  • And we will have fun doing all of it!

<!-- Content taken from the Debian Desktop Subproject. Originally written by Colin Walters. Placed here by Matthew ?McGuire 11-11-02 -->

"We recognize that there are only two important classes of users: the novice, and the expert" Thats sad. What about expert users that wants to get things done without learning the syntax of yet another configuration file?

Learning how to use ipfwadm was fun, because it taught me much about the Linux firewall implementation. Lerning ipchains was not fun, but not hard since I knew ipfwadm. I have never tried to learn iptables options. Why should I waste time on yet another implementation when firewall builder has such a great gui?

2003/03/24 14:33 UTC (via web):


  • Documentation about the principles applied in the Debian GNU/Linux Operating System should be installed by default, but in the language of the users (e.g things like http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/)

  • The good OS is the one that can fit to everybody's needs. Automatic kernel configuration and patch application on a "For what kind of tasks do you intend to use this computer" questions basis could be great.
  • For the expert : simplifying and improving help informations and module names in the "kernel module configuration" part of the installation could be great.

Michel Nolard

Wacky ideas from a newbie

  • In KDE and particularly in Gnome, the placement of apps in various sub menus is often counterintuitive. Adding to this, the vast number of apps that get installed to the same purpose is confusing.
  • Can we start with single, most encompassing choices for each category of basic functionality, and add an extra other choices item. For example, under "Office Software" (a category not (yet) present in Gnome), we can place the components of OpenOffice, and GnuCash. Beneath those, we can add an "Other office software" entry, which will pop up an interface allowing us to add other software from the office category, such as Abiword, Koffice, Gnumeric etc.

  • For each application package, can we have text created by a committee of users describing that package, and what makes it different from other packages in the same category, and can we have them categorized by the same committee (instead of but in co-operation with package maintainers).

  • Can we use a single common repository for mime handlers, so all applications know which other application is responsible for what (and I would like to recommend .mime.types in both /etc and in the user home directory). In addition to this, is there a mini-plugin launcher which will use a browser plugin to view a file without loading the whole browser and its interface?

Dominic Amann

In regards to system configuration

Another option might be to integrate system tools such as the ones from Red Hat (which are really the most complete I've used--the <a href="http://www.morphix.org">Morphix Project</a> appears to be trying to port these to Debian or the newly GPL'ed ["YaST2"] (which I understand is good).

Keep up the good work guys. . .