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From Dain Sundstrom <>
Subject Re: Usability Notes: First Impressions
Date Sat, 02 Jul 2005 17:57:03 GMT
Thanks Erin.  This is just the kind of feedback we desperately need.

If you have time, can you add these items to our bug/feature tracking  
system JIRA:

It looks like there are at least 8 fairly simple to implement new  
feature here, any of which would be a good opportunity for someone  
new to get involved in the project.

Again thanks for the feedback,


On Jul 2, 2005, at 12:33 AM, Erin Mulder wrote:

> Congratulations on passing the TCK!
> It sounds like usability is now a top concern, so here are some quick
> first impressions based on the geronimo-1.0-169186 build.  I  
> approached
> this as someone who had just heard the buzz about Geronimo and had
> downloaded it to give it a try.
> Many of these items are simple documentation or user feedback issues
> that should be easy to fix.  A lot of them are pretty minor, but taken
> together, they make a difference.
> 1. It would be nice to have obvious and startup.bat scripts
> in the bin directory so that the user doesn't need to look at the  
> file to figure out how to start the server.  (I know java -jar
> bin/server.jar isn't hard -- it's just not quite as brainless as a
> script called "startup").
> 2. The README file should probably put the instructions for  
> starting the
> server ahead of the deployment instructions.   (I think most people  
> will
> want to make sure Geronimo starts successfully before they invest time
> in deployment or configuration.)
> 3. When first launching the server, it's hard to tell when startup is
> complete.  There are lots of pauses, and it's not clear whether there
> will eventually be a "successful startup" message.  This adds a bit of
> uncertainty/confusion as you sit there and wonder whether it's done,
> still going or broken.  (It would actually be quite cool/unique to add
> some sort of ascii progress bar like sftp and scp use.)
> 4. During startup, too much information is written to the console.
> Ideally, it should display a "Server starting..." message, followed by
> some sort of small progress indicator, followed by a "Server started
> successfully!" message.   Only errors, severe warnings, or truly  
> useful
> environment information should go in between.  (A verbose switch could
> be added to allow developers to load the server with the current  
> chatty
> log4j config.)
> 5. There's no sense of what to do next when first launching the  
> server.
>   It would be nice to see something like "Server started successfully!
>  Visit the web console at http://localhost:8080/".  It would also be
> very nice to print out a quick table of the ports that the server is
> listening on.  Perhaps something like:
>   -----------------------------------------------------
>> bin/
>   Environment information:
>     JDK_HOME: /usr/lib/java
>     GERONIMO_BUILD: 1.0-169186
>     VERBOSE_LEVEL: quiet (use -verbose to change)
>   SERVER STARTING..................................
>   Now listening on:
>     Port 1234: JMS
>     Port 8080: HTTP
>     Port 8081: HTTPS
>     Port 9876: Foo
>   Browse to http://localhost:8080/ for web console
>   -----------------------------------------------------
> 6. I expected to find some sort of welcome page at
> http://localhost:8080/ (to reassure me that installation & startup  
> were
> successful), but just got a 404.  It would be nice for that URL to
> present a welcome page that gives "quick start" instructions for
> configuration, deployment, accessing the management console, etc.   
> Links
> to example apps and instructions on where to find their underlying  
> code
> would also be helpful.
> 7. Since there was no obvious management console, I followed the
> instructions to enable the debug console.  While doing this, I  
> noticed that:
>   a. the README doesn't list username/password info next to the debug
> console instructions.  It's in a different section, and I didn't  
> notice
> it until after I was surprised by the "Username:" prompt.
>   b. Password input echoes to console (perhaps use shell/batch scripts
> to work around this?)
>   c. In general, debug console deployment takes a long time with no  
> feedback
> 8. Not immediately clear how to configure anything (data source,  
> server
> ports, application, etc.)  There are no config directories that can be
> browsed or grepped, no examples of data source configurations for  
> common
> databases, no sample applications, etc.  At this point, you're pretty
> much dumped into the main documentation page and need to comb through
> articles and ebooks for more info.  This is an easy point to give up
> playing with Geronimo and go back to work on something else.
> Anyway, that was the first 10-20 minutes.  Now I need to work on  
> porting
> a few apps from JBoss and WebLogic to Geronimo.  I'll keep a log of
> first impressions as I go and will try to report back at some point.
> Cheers,
> Erin
> PS. The tarball I downloaded included a NOTICE.txt that says  
> Geronimo is
> still in the incubator.  This should probably be removed.

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