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Re: Abandon "Default Desktop"

On Sat, 2009-05-02 at 19:34 +0200, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> Adam Williamson wrote:
> > I already explained that, we're circling *again*. The problem is that
> > when you ask someone to make a choice without understanding the options,
> > it tends to frustrate them. This is a well-observed phenomenon in all
> > circles, certainly including computer user interface design.
> This would just be one single choice, and a choice a sizable portion of our
> userbase wants to make (even those who happen to use Fedora's current
> defaults: ask them around how they'd react if Fedora would install KDE by
> default and making it a complex hunt of checkboxes to select GNOME instead,
> also by making all the use-case-specific groups default to KDE apps and
> having the GNOME equivalents part of the GNOME group instead; yet that's
> exactly what's done right now, except with GNOME<->KDE switched around).
> The current solution is highly inconvenient. I can only really recommend
> the KDE live spin for KDE users. Sadly, that one is hidden behind a small
> link on the default download page, with the default download not even
> containing KDE at all.

In terms of what should happen on the web page, I don't really have an
opinion. It is a tricky area with no obvious right answer. I had to deal
with the same issue at MDV. A few years ago we had a download page
(well, area...) which carefully exposed every possible edition of
Mandriva you could choose to download - KDE, GNOME, Xfce, DVD, CD,
32-bit, 64-bit, different language 'spins'. Someone did a bit of
research and found that only 33% of the people who got to the download
area then managed to reach the point of actually downloading anything...

so we instead implemented a massively simplified download screen, which
gave you the KDE live CD by default and offered the 32-bit install DVD
as a second option, and relegated everything else to the release notes.
Whereupon the download numbers went up but all the 64-bit fans, GNOME
fans, Xfce fans etc were up in arms.

I couldn't ever think of a decent compromise, I'm not sure there *is*
one. There's a penalty to exposing all the choices and a penalty to
*not* exposing all the choices. As I said a few mails back, before we
can even attempt an answer, we really need a definition of what set of
potential users we actually care about.
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Fedora Talk: adamwill AT fedoraproject DOT org

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