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Re: F11: xorg decision to disable Ctrl-Alt-Backspace

* Giancarlo Niccolai <gc falconpl org> [20090331 09:54]:
> Anders Rayner-Karlsson wrote:
>> * Rodd Clarkson <rodd clarkson id au> [20090331 03:56]:
>>> On Mon, 2009-03-30 at 10:55 +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
>> [snip]
>>>> I don't think it is appropriate content for release notes since it isn't
>>>> useful to lead users to read a few threads with hundreds of mails in
>>>> that context. Fedora release notes is not Fedora Weekly News.
>>> I'm not suggesting that you put all these threads into the release
>>> notes, just a url so that hopefully people will read the discussion
>>> already had (and then hopefully avoid having the same fruitless
>>> convesation again).
>> You have an excessive amount of faith in people. This discussion will
>> be had again (and again), probably by mostly the same people, once
>> it's rolled out in a release. Same arguments, same flames, possibly a
>> different list.
> I rarely step in threads, so forgive me for this once.
> Good computing => "least surprise effect".
> People coming from windows => ctrl+alt+<fumble>bs  "OH CRAP --- I am so  
> XXXX I forgot to save my work files in 15 Word (ops, Openoffice) windows  
> in the past 3 days!!!!"
> People knowing their systems and just upgrading => x blocked =>   
> ctrl+alt+bs ... ctrl+alt+bs... "what the..." ... CTRL+ALT+BS. "OH SHIT  
> -- I got to hard reboot loosing all the work on console sessions and  
> possibly fucking up that crap of XXXX filesystem the installer forced me  
> to use!!!!"

If people truly know their systems, as you suggest they do, your
second scenario will not happen. Switching to a vc is hardly rocket
surgery if you are at all familiar with the system. Trying C-A-Bs and
finding it ineffective, it's not a big step to trying C-A-F[1-6] to
see if you can get a vc. Anyone incapable of something so truly simple
would probably not resort to C-A-Bs in the first instance, but go for
the powerswitch immediately.

> If you think that some of the old users not sticking with this mailing  
> list will ever get to know you're taken a so relevant decision (i.e. by  
> carefully reading a changelog) you're very probably wrong. They expect  
> not to be surprised.

Part of my job is to set expectations with customers having much the
same attitude as you are exhibiting. Read the releasenotes, read the

This is hardly such a critical change as some are making it out to be
and re-enabling it for those few that really want the functionality
back is trivial, as exhibited in the thread already.

> SO, if you want to make a so relevant decision, the only viable ways not  
> to get existing users "surprised" (and one (more) step towards other  
> distros) are:
> 1) leave it as it always been; the programmers of the old say "if it's  
> not broken, don't fix it" (this is truly the way of the Tao); or

There is a case for arguing that leaving C-A-Bs enabled is broken. It
was argued upstream - successfully. If you disagree with that
decision, you can always lobby upstream to revert the change. This
point has also already been made in this thread.

> 2) have a BIG BOX warning about the change and how to put it as it was  
> before; but preferabily

Considering the amount of changes that will have happened between F10
and F11, do you honestly belive that this even is feasible? Anyone
upgrading or installing F11 would have hundreds, if not thousands, of
"BIG BOX" warnings to click through before they even got near the
system to use it. This is what the Release Notes is for.

Remember - as passionate as you feel about *this* change, others feel
about other changes that happens. In the grand scheme of things, this
is rather an insignificant change as the functionality is not removed,
it simply will not be enabled by default.

> 3) have a BIG BOX with a BIG BUTTON during installation asking "do you  
> REALLY want to disable the life-saver ctrl+alt+bs sequence that saved  
> your system from total hang so many times in the past?"

This is not a convincing business justification, and a customer filing
a feature request with that type of argument would see it shot down in
flames very rapidly. "I want this feature because I want it" ends up
forgotten at the bottom of the pile.

Take a step back, and come up with a rational, direct and convincing
argument for why this functionality absolutely have to be enabled by
default. No emotion, just clear, cold hard facts and argument. Present
it here so that it can be challenged (that'll strengthen the argument
when you later take it upstream) and debated.



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