1. On boot, after the country and language selection, Englightenment
-> asks: “Use hardware accelerated desktop?”
-> “Suggestion: accelerated [X]”
I checked the box, not knowing if the existing driver can offer my gma500 accelerated graphics.
2. By not having a 3D accelerated driver on my netbook, I got a Compositor Warning:
“Your display driver does not support OpenGL, or no OpenGL engines were compiled or installed for Evas or Ecore-Evas. Falling back to software engine.”
3. The Elive displays an Information window:
“Hardware acceleration makes your desktop more responsive. It also makes for better video playback. If you encounter any strange behaviour like a broken desktop, a frozen system or crashing applications, this means that your graphics card is not supported by these drivers. In this case switch off hardware acceleration.”
I wonder, is there a way to prevent Enlightenment asking the users if they want a hardware accelerated desktop? Because if it’s possible, those 3 windows/pop-ups can be avoided.
If the following command returns “0”, it means the graphics driver is in software rendering, so hardware acceleration is not possible:
Then, about 5 minutes after boot, another window popped-up: Hot-keys | Using Elive faster!
Showing up unexpectedly is not a good idea. The user might be in the installation process by then, or doing something else, so pushing a new window into focus can be confusing and annoying.
It would probably help if the hot-keys document wouldn’t show up at all, and be replaced by an icon in the dock - something symbolizing “info” or “help”. It might also help if the dock would have less icons. I mean what are the chances that the common user will need these in the dock?
- music player + photo manager? (unlikely, considering they can use the file manager to open music and photos)
- image editor (unlikely)
- color picker (highly unlikely)
- word processor (maybe)
- virtual box (extremely unlikely, definitely useless on PCs without virtualization support)
After a few minutes of inactivity, the screen goes black. If you do anything to end the sleep mode, you get a dialog window:
Activate Presentation Mode?
“You disabled the screensaver too fast.
Would you like to enable presentation mode and temporarily disable screen saver, lock and power saving?
[Yes] [No] [No, but increase timeout] [No, and stop asking]”
The thing is, choosing [Yes] doesn’t change anything - at least in live mode. The OS doesn’t enter the presentation mode because after about the same amount of time the screen goes black again, and the same dialog window shows up again if you quickly exit the sleep mode. It was great seeing that message the first time, indicating that the window manager is aware of the user’s (in)activity and tries to help, but after the second time you expect the OS to actually enter the presentation mode so you don’t get asked the same thing again, even when your battery is full. It looks like an Enlightenment feature, so I’m not sure if Elive can tweak it, but it would be nice if it was possible to at least know for how long the presentation mode lasts, because it’s too short (again, full battery). The good thing is No, and stop asking works properly.
Starting the Elive 3.0.0 installer, and windows opened as a result, using the custom install:
“Not many people report about bugs these days. Do you want to help us by enabling automatic reports for when a problem happens? […] No personal information is sent and you will help the entire community.”
2. Elive Installer options:
Guided help during the installation
Show information about the installation progress
3. A progress window
4. Select items from the list - bad title, as you can only choose one
Automatic - Use the entire disk, smart partitioning with optimal options, can be encrypted
gparted - Graphical and user-friendly partitioner
palimpsest - RAID, LVM and ENCRYPTED options, advanced tools
none - My disks are already paritioned.
I chose Automatic.
5. Another progress window
You are going to erase your entire hard disk to install Elive. Continue?
Do you want to enable encryption?
^ Here, the No/Yes buttons can easily do something that the user doesn’t want, if they click in a hurry. Considering the encryption is something the user should really take time to read about, it would be better if you presented a window with a checkbox and a “Continue” button that works even without checking the box, but only enables encryption if you check the box.
8. Another progress window
9. Super Mario War 1.8 started for no reason - why?!
10. Another progress window
11. Progress window:
Elive is being installed on your hard disk. Please be patient.
12. Progress window:
Configuring the installed system. Please be patient.
13. Features of your Elive:
Samba shared directories and printers
SSH remote access
Block IP’s to prevent continuous attempted attacks
Mouse for the console
Disk utility and notifications
14. Features of your Elive:
Firmware for Broadcom NetXtremeII network
Firmware for Qlogic QLA2xxx fibre channel
Hard disk temperature sensors
15. Features of your Elive:
Blender 3D Modelling <- most people don’t do 3D Modelling
Wine MS-Windows interpreter <- no, Wine is a compatibility layer
XBMC Media center <- most people are happy with a regular media player
Inkscape Vector drawing <- this is not commonly used
Gimp Photoshop equivalent
Thunderbird Desktop email application
Games and emulators <- at least mention their size, if no other details
#15 should be evaluated by taking a look at the default programs (not) offered with the most popular distros. Many people don’t need the mentioned software, so their Elive installation would be bloated if the agreed to installing the defaults.
16. Features of your Elive:
Google Chromium (Open Source, old) <- Chromium 37 - very old and insecure
Google Chrome (Fast but consumes more ram, old) <- Chrome 48 - old and insecure
Firefox (Slower, consumes less ram, newer) <- Firefox 52 ESR - somewhat old, also insecure
Opera (Good alternative, fastest one, newer) <- Opera 45 - old
17. Features of your Elive: <- this section is rather fit for advanced users who know what they’re doing
Remove translations of unnecessary languages (450 MB)
Uninstall additional icon and themes (430 MB)
Delete the directory /usr/share/doc (210 MB) <- most people have no idea what this is
Delete Elive demo files (600 MB) <- what are these?
Uninstall unnecessary international fonts
Uninstall dependencies used for compilation (240 MB)
Uninstall all extra drivers support (NOT RECOMMENDED) (200 MB)
Uninstall debugging packages (30 MB)
18. Low resources computer
Modifications making the system faster will sacrifice some features. Keeping the defaults is suggested.
Replace the office suite with one taking up less disk space? <- with what? it should be mentioned
Switch from Zsh to Bash
Switch Terminal Terminology to Urxvt
Disable Getty console shells <- be specific: all of them, or all but one?
Uninstall Network-Manager <- this should also be (not recommended)
Uninstall login manager (not recommended)
^ Replacing the office suite is not necessarily a good idea, considering many people using it also need compatibility with other office suites, like MS Office. So the disk space is the smallest concern here. But at least say something like “Replace LibreOffice with Abiword and Gnumeric?” - or whatever the replacements are.
19. Add a new entry
Enter a short login name for your new user using English characters. (nickname)
20. Elive extra features
Don’t ask password for ‘SUDO’ (not recommended)
Don’t ask password for package management
Directly access to this machine as ‘.local’ in your local network
21. Text View
#There is a list of the packages that you want to keep installed in your system across re-installations (in upgrade mode). If you want to edit it in the future, you can find it in ‘/etc/elive/packages_to_maintain_installed’
#20 shouldn’t really be here. Let an advanced user open it by having an extra checkbox in #19, and spare 99% of the people who don’t know what’s this and click OK “blindly”. Something like this:
Manage the packages list to keep installed across re-installations
22. Progress window
Installing and removing packages. This operation can take a while. Please wait…
eliveinstaller doing the job for #20
Generating Grub and Initrd’s
eliveinstaller doing the job for #22
26. Add a new entry
Insert a password for your computer. <- this assumes a single-seat PC. “… for your user” is better.
27. Add a new entry
^ It would’ve been better if the username and password (+ confirmation) would’ve been asked in the same dialog, to reduce the number of windows popping-up.
Do you want to automatically log in without having to entre the password every time?
29. Add a new entry
Choose a name for this computer using English characters only.
The hostname is a simple name that you give to this computer to identify it, it is very common to use a funny name for it. <- Not really, many people give PCs their own names, ending with “-pc” or “-laptop”. Even the installer suggests “Elive-username”, but whatever…
30. Congratulations, you have installed Elive! You can now reboot…
At this step, instead of simply informing that the installation is finished, you could also ask the user if they want to restart and offer a Yes and No dialog. Most people would restart anyway, so they can start playing with their newly installed OS.
The login manager asks you to type your username. This was common back in the Windows 3.11 for Workgroups days, up to Windows 2000, but we could click the username from a list since Windows XP and KDE 1 (no kidding), so with a DE so nice and polished, the login manager should be similar.
31. Language selection prompt
32. Keyboard selection prompt
^ Why? They were asked at the start of the live session, and the least the installer could do is ask if you want to keep the same settings for the installed Elive.
33. Hardware Acceleration
Elive asks again if we want a hardware accelerated desktop. Why? It should’ve been settled during the installation. However, I checked the box again, just in case a better driver was added from online packages during the installation.
P.S. On subsequent reboots, the Compositor Warning window keeps showing up. I don’t understand why Enlightenment doesn’t remember to always start without hardware acceleration - it should.
34. Select items from the list
Select the services that you want to have enabled on your desktop. Elive has already selected the best option for you.
Audio volumes restore
Elive startup sound
GSettings Data Conversion
Certificate and Key Storage
Secret Storage Service
Select Wifi to connect
PolicyKit Authentication Agent
SSH Key Agent
GPG Password Agent
Touchpad configurations <- isn’t it possible to detect if there’s one present and only select this if there is one?
Support Elive with a donation
^ Why isn’t the above list sorted alphabetically? It’s displayed randomly after each install, which is a bad things if you install Elive on multiple PCs and you want to customize the list with every install. You need more time to go through the whole list, to make sure you do all the required clicking.
35. Progress window
36. A password prompt shows up <- why isn’t this run as root automatically?
The application ‘/usr/sbin/b43-driver-fixes’ lets you modify essential parts of your system.
37. Compositor Warning
Your display driver does not support… Falling back to software engine.
Hardware acceleration makes your desktop more responsive… If you encounter any strange behaviour… switch off hardware acceleration.
36, 37, 38 <- useless, considering this was handled before.
39. Touchpad Configurator <- is this really necessary post-install?
Wifi icon on the bottom-right corner: “Internet Selector” (weird name, technically inaccurate) should be named “Network Manager status icon” or something more appropriate.
Clicking the “Internet Selector” a second time, after the wifi connection has been set up, will show an information dialog:
Granted permissions without asking for password
The ‘/etc/init.d/network-manager ‘restart’’ program was started with the privileges of the root user without the need to ask for a password, due to your system’s authentication mechanism setup…
Do not display this message again
^ It’s the first time I encountered that wifi gadget, so I don’t know who created it. Anyway, it would be nice if Elive wouldn’t show the above notification, and it would be nice if “Internet Selector” would check if the Network Manager status icon is in place, so it doesn’t have to kill it and start it again (wasted CPU cycles).
“Installer of packages and applications”: Authentication is required to run the Synaptic Package Manager
^ but weren’t we asked about this at #18? An accurate option would’ve been “Don’t ask password for package installs/updates/removals”
As you can see, there’s a big number of windows showing up during the installation process. No wonder it’s annoying. How about using Calamares as an installer?
Ok, it’s been a long review so far, so it ends here. Hit me with questions if clarifications are required.