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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Announcements
Making Chihuahua newbie friendly
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tronkel


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 1101
Location: Vienna Austria

PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar 2008, 07:17    Post subject:  Making Chihuahua newbie friendly
Subject description: What to do about this
 

I think it was prehistoric who once made a point in relation to Conky. He made the point that it did not pass the "newbie" test, because it was necessary to manually edit the conkyrc configuration file.

This is certainly the case with many other utilities and apps included in Chihuahua.

When this project first started, it seemed to clash with the aims of 2.14R (Phoenix) in the sense that Ecomoney visualised that Phoenix should be much more oriented towards newbies than 2.14 and Chihuahua itself was. So this was a primary design target for Phoenix. BTW I seem to have lost track about what is going on over at Phoenix. Don't seem to read much from Ecomoney these days.

I saw Chihuahua as being aimed more at the experienced forum user who knows what he wants and is not phased so much by the command line. So far so good.

Lets have a look again though at this question of "newbie friendliness". If you accept that the real problems that newbies have is mostly to do with the command line, then maybe Ecomoney was right and we should be trying to do more for newbies, say by making GUIs for them, than has been done up to this point in the course of developing Chihuahua. "Newbies of today are the experts of tomorrow" etc.etc.

To seriously address the provision of helpful GUI's would be a major task though. Some are easy and some are much more difficult. A whole raft of programming skills would be required in order to build useful GUIs . Do these skills exist in the community to the extent that they could make a in-roads into this problem? I doubt it.

How many times have you seen impressive screen shots of nice-looking GUIs together with a plea for someone who can add the code to make it work? I doubt if sufficient programming skills are available in this forum to a sufficient extent that could make a dent in this task. You could prove me wrong here though.

What is needed here, are contributors who are willing to acquire or who already have the necessary skills.

A concept of building a plug-in Lassie sfs in the context of a project that has programmers contributing useful GUIs aimed at newbies seems sensible. Could call it Lassie-Newbie.sfs say. I think that would be a very popular download if it existed.

It's a moving target though, and would have to be provided in different guises according to the Puppy version it was designed to assist.

It's time to get your hands dirty, learn Software Engineering and learn to program!

Bash, Puppybasic, C/C++, Python programmers etc required!!

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Lobster
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Joined: 04 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar 2008, 07:33    Post subject:  

For those wishing to program - start with something simple
This is nothing more than a launcher
Easy to implement . . . and understand . . .
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=185853#185853

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oblivious

Joined: 14 Apr 2007
Posts: 304
Location: Western Australia

PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar 2008, 07:56    Post subject: Re: Making Chihuahua newbie friendly
Subject description: What to do about this
 

tronkel wrote:

Lets have a look again though at this question of "newbie friendliness". If you accept that the real problems that newbies have is mostly to do with the command line, then maybe Ecomoney was right and we should be trying to do more for newbies, say by making GUIs for them, than has been done up to this point in the course of developing Chihuahua. "Newbies of today are the experts of tomorrow" etc.etc.

As a newbie, the real problems I have had is the lack of clear written instructions that adequately explain what is going on/what needs to be done. I've been lurking and experimenting and I'm not much further along than when I started. The benefit to me of the wizards in Puppy isn't that they are GUIs, but that they give feedback as to what it is that they are doing/what is happening/what you need to input. I'd be more than happy to install or configure anything by the command line, as long as there were adequate instructions, adequate prompts and sufficient information to know what is happening, so that if it bites the dust you have some idea of where in the process it's stopped.
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alienjeff


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 2291
Location: Winsted, CT - USA

PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar 2008, 11:23    Post subject:  

Instead of dumping Conky because it doesn't pass either noob or nub testing, check DSL's implementation of Tormso, of which Conky is a direct descendant. A very basic Conky display could be used. If the user hated it, he could remove it. If the user loved it as-is, leave it be. If the user wanted it to display everything in the world including his rectal temperature, then he'd have some work to do.

But this once again brings us to the question of just how far does the community want to dumb-down the OS. And wasn't the Chihuahua CE supposed to be by and for the community; and Ecomoney's project to target the noob?

A more beneficial endeavor than dumbing down the OS so that a lobotomized ostrich could use it would be for each of us to take some time helping a noob or nub get over their command line phobia. Though point and click is fine for some things, it can (and often times is) overdone. Plug-and-play is fine, but is slowly drifting into black box voodoo.

Let's not put training wheels on the CE, okay? Otherwise it's only a matter of time and gravity when helmets, gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, steel toe boots and roll bars will be added. If one needs those levels of protection, consider Ubuntu, Windows or Phoenix.

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jonyo

Joined: 28 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar 2008, 12:26    Post subject: Re: Making Chihuahua newbie friendly
Subject description: What to do about this
 

oblivious wrote:

As a newbie, the real problems I have had is the lack of clear written instructions that adequately explain what is going on/what needs to be done. I've been lurking and experimenting and I'm not much further along than when I started.
I felt that way for a good year. I'd say it's normal.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1271

PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar 2008, 13:03    Post subject: newbie test  

Hi AJ,

Welcome back to the discussion. I was refering to Barry's stated goal that Puppy "just works" for fundamental computer tasks, not suggesting knee pads and helmets. If conky causes a problem, the naive user should be able to disable it without editing configuration files. For simply booting, getting on the network and running a browser internal documentation should suffice for the large number of people who see Puppy mentioned and automatically pick up the latest official release. After they experience some benefits of doing things our way we can set the hook. Expansion and customization of Puppy doesn't need to be made mindless, and probably shouldn't be.

The "newbie test" applies to that first experience and only for a carefully selected set of tasks. Barry has chosen carefully in the past, and done remarkably well. And, when he could not automate a task or provide an interface with appropriate bling he did some careful documentation. Natural languages are also of use with computers, or rather the people who use them. The clarity of explanations had a major effect on my adoption of Puppy. Core documentation is part of a release.

The goal of getting newbies over command line phobia is basically a long-term subversive goal. Hitting command line tasks at day one is a primary excuse for dropping a distro. (When it comes to subversion, I am well prepared, people tell me I'm boring both from within and without.)

On learning to program, the best advice I can give is don't start from scratch. Pick some simple existing tool and make that tiny modification you've always wanted. Read code to write. Definitely don't try to perform a "desert island bootstrap" where you have to create the tools to make the tools entirely on your own. Doing that once in a lifetime is enough for anyone. (I speak from experience.) This is the world of open source. Use it!

Incidentally, tronkel, for reasons the vast majority of native English speakers cannot articulate, people are "fazed" by a daunting obstacle, (except perhaps on Star Trek). Why is spelling so bizarre? My best guess is that it stopped invaders from finding Barugh or Cholmondeley, which must have been hotbeds of resistance. (At least they were better off than Napoleon's grand army trying to find that HOBOE PEKA shown on their maps.)

I'm still not convinced the move from JWM to Icewm is justified, and continue to use a patched alpha3, except for testing. I'll withhold judgment and await the next alpha, as I'm having problems collecting all patches in one place.

prehistoric
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tronkel


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 1101
Location: Vienna Austria

PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar 2008, 13:12    Post subject:  

Alienjeff wrote:

Quote:
But this once again brings us to the question of just how far does the community want to dumb-down the OS. And wasn't the Chihuahua CE supposed to be by and for the community; and Ecomoney's project to target the noob?


That's exactly how I imagined Chuhuahua would be positioned in relation to Ecomoney's project.

In my first post, near the end, I suggested the by now familiar Chihuahua approach of curing all ills by means of employing an sfs Lassie module as an optional add-in.

This could apply to any required newbie stuff as well - including extra help/instruction files (as well as newbie-style GUIs/wizards) as has twice been mentioned already in this thread.

This way Chihuahua doesn't get unnecessarily dumbed down for those who don't need so much hand-holding. Too much hand-holding is irritating for more experienced users and takes up a lot of programmer resources and time as well.

The option really should be made available though, if at all practical. Doesn't have to be all be completed by the time the final of Chihuahua appears. This sort of work can carry on in perpetuity if need be. A good outlet for the creative thinkers as well.

Bear in mind the likely life-cycle of Chihuahua though.

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Last edited by tronkel on Sat 29 Mar 2008, 13:39; edited 1 time in total
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tronkel


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 1101
Location: Vienna Austria

PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar 2008, 13:36    Post subject:  

prehistoric wrote:

Quote:
people are "fazed" by a daunting obstacle


Yep, that's how it ought to have been spelled and not "phased".

I'm starting to lose my English ... lol.

I'm a native speaker, but don't use English at home at all.
My wife is from the Czech Republic and can't speak a word of English and I don't speak a word of Czech. So we speak German all the time here in Vienna.

Servus, pa pa!

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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1271

PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar 2008, 15:17    Post subject: native tongue  

@tronkel,

You're doing fine relative to those currently growing up with the Socal dialect, or even others I won't mention. I have to restrain myself when people mix up compliment and complement. It's already a lost cause. Being mistaken for a native European who learned correct English in school should be considered a compliment.
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cthisbear

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 3414
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Sat 29 Mar 2008, 17:37    Post subject:  

My pet hate:
Booting.

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=27538

I have an attachment from Rudy puppy.
Surely we can get this edited-worked on.....as a better option
for problem booting. How much time would this save on the forum
in answering these questions.

PC Puppyos has a splash screen..Pebble?...can't we have the same
with an option to see the screen loading commands.

And why can't we just press a number for our boot options?
........................................

" But this once again brings us to the question of just how far does the community want to dumb-down the OS. "

No disrespect AJ.....but most are dumbed down already.
I've taught them all I know and it isn't much.

But amongst all the people that we could drag in.......if only one or two
could supply answers to some flaws that cripple Puppy, well that's a win.

Here's a go .....Hate mail incoming.
Internet Explorer....doesn't MU have it in one of his releases.
Yes! a pig of a program....and definitely not for me.
But the topic is newbie friendly....not Newbie Smart.

Chris.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1271

PostPosted: Sun 30 Mar 2008, 20:40    Post subject:  HERESY!  

@cthisbear,

How could you, our own flesh-n-blood? Oh, the ignominy! [break for medication]

Chris, I was with you when you talked about having a simple option to boot on hard cases. Then, as an old southern lady once said in church, "he's quit preachin' and gone to meddling."

Aside from the overhead of things required to run IE, and licensing issues you don't even want to think about, (have any spare firstborn children?) there are serious security problems with IE requiring a constant flow of updates. I provide a link to announcements and more links about a security problem already hitting people who visit our sites using IE. browsers under attack

If you follow up on those references, and keep a tally of the sheer number of exploits for IE, you should see why this is simply not an option for a community with such limited resources.

prehistoric
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cthisbear

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
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Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Mon 31 Mar 2008, 05:22    Post subject:  

" How could you, our own flesh-n-blood? Oh, the ignominy! [break for medication] "

Egging people on.
Only yolking.

" Aside from the overhead of things required to run IE "

And how was the blood pressure?

Yeah! but the booting issue does give me the tom tits.

Chris.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1271

PostPosted: Mon 31 Mar 2008, 08:16    Post subject: newbie booting, not booting newbies  

@cthisbear,

The first step in helping newbies surmount the booting obstacle has already been done interactively. The next step is to collect as much as possible about those strange cases and boil down the advice which worked into a page we can add to the boot message. When things work there's no need to display this. When the newbie comes back to the message a second time, s/he notices this: "Having trouble? Press F2 for advice on getting this CD to boot, F3 for help with the initial video." Getting the most likely problems covered in limited space requires some judgment about how often a particular problem stops people. We can also include names of some representative machines where a particular set of options worked, to save many people from trying the whole laundry list.
cthisbear wrote:

Quote:
How could you, our own flesh-n-blood? Oh, the ignominy! [break for medication]

Egging people on.
Only yolking.

And, I was joking about the medication - this time.

prehistoric
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cthisbear

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 3414
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Tue 01 Apr 2008, 03:53    Post subject:  

" The first step in helping newbies surmount the booting obstacle
has already been done interactively. "

Whereabouts?

Chris.
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10753
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Tue 01 Apr 2008, 07:29    Post subject:  

Well if we get a few extra kb I think Pebble would be a nice thing to add or even something more simple was graphpup splash that was done really basic and worked well.

I think as newbeeee's go, The first main issue is getting on the net.
If we could only have some advanced net detection, Most don't know what DHCP from BASF is.
Like a simple welcome first time boot script.
Welcome to Puppy Linux, Lets Get Started shall we?
Ok does the screen resolution look nice to you or would you like to change it.
NEXT QUESTION ........ CHANGE <---gtk around the input boxes.

Would you like to connect to the Internet?

YES ......... NO

Ok what type of modem do you have?
Dial-up ..... Cable ..... ADSL ..... Wireless

(after that nothing, Everything done in the background.)

Thank you for using Puppy LInux, This Script will self destruct in 5....4.....3.....2....1....0

Then you hear the "Woof woof" or better yet "S.A.M. from the 1980's c-64 saying Hello Master, How are you today, woof woof" lol

In the past Year I have read hundreds of post with people have issues mostly with:
- Internet connection
- Grub
- Wireless & Battery Monitor
- Scanning & Printing
- Loading SFS
- Compiling (mostly because of SFS issues)


Then not so important issues.
- installing Latest Gimp, Inkscape, Mplayer, VLC
- Language Support
- Open office

ttuuxxx

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