[PC-BSD Testing] Testing Digest, Vol 8, Issue 35

Terry Poulin bigboss64 at ippimail.com
Wed Aug 29 12:40:21 PDT 2007

> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2007 18:07:54 -0700 (PDT)
> From: sc at sdf.lonestar.org
> Subject: [PC-BSD Testing] Add nano/joe editors, and a little bootup
> 	help?
> To: testing at lists.pcbsd.org
> Message-ID: <64271. at sc.freeshell.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain;charset=iso-8859-1
> Kris et al.,
> This pertains to last Friday's snapshot (and earlier), but since I haven't
> heard anyone else mention this, I think it would be nice to offer a choice
> of a few widely familiar and comfortable text editors right from the
> start, that could be available when things go badly during or after an
> install.
> The included "edit" editor is OK, but many people probably could work
> better and make fewer mistakes with joe or even pico/nano.

Any thing simple and with on screen guides should work, but Pico would
probably be best... It's as basic as ed yet as simple as notepad in a console
ready package.

> Also, the bootup process is still screechingly at odds with PC-BSD's great
> work elsewhere at making FreeBSD easier to use. When an install didn't
> work recently because an old non-booting disk drive that was attached to
> the system "failed" (as far as I could see, it didn't pass fsck because of
> 1 bad cluster), all the wonderful GUIs and goodness of PC-BSD vanished
> when the bootup process tossed itself overboard at a point when not even
> joe could run because the state of things yet was such that random cursor
> addressing for the screen wasn't working.
> The system behaved as if this disk was critical to its operation. That was
> far from true, and an easy-to-use option to bypass it rather than
> struggling against the system's wrong assumptions would have been very
> welcome. Some errors can be addressed much better after the boot disk and
> the system are fully up and operational. Forcing the user to solve such
> problems at a partially effective system prompt with severely limited
> tools is sub-optimal. More than once while this was happening, not only
> that ancient disk but the main boot disk too were marked read-only and not
> even root could edit the necessary files to get around it.
> Some useful messages (understandable to the average person) about how to
> bypass this kind of thing are fairly nonexistent in FreeBSD's bootup
> process. It would be very helpful to look through the bootup procedure to
> see what helpful informational messages and screens screens could be added
> at various points, to help new desktop users who aren't Unix gurus when
> bootup falls over and throws PC-BSD on its ear in the mud.
> At least, giving the user clearer ways to differentiate between really
> showstopping errors and lesser errors that could be fixed more effectively
> once the desktop GUI system is up, compared to trying to fix things
> partway  through bootup using sticks and flint knives, seems desirable if
> at all possible.
> -rsc

I suppose that is a question of how true to the underlaying FreeBSD the
developers wish to stay with what changes they do make.


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