geronimo-dev mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From David Jencks <>
Subject Re: v1.x Installer comments - Long
Date Wed, 25 Jan 2006 23:30:30 GMT

On Jan 25, 2006, at 2:48 PM, Joe Bohn wrote:

> I agree with Dave on the issue of multiple containers.  We had many  
> discussions on this list concerning the number of containers in an  
> image.  The result was that we agreed to deliver 2 different  
> assemblies rather than having multiple containers in one assembly.   
> If that was the decision for the assemblies then I would think it  
> makes sense to do the same in the installer.
> I also agree with Dave that we should revisit the issue of  
> presenting the list of components twice: once to include them in  
> the image and once to activate them in the runtime.  I doubt that  
> most users would understand this distinction when initially  
> installing Geronimo.  Most other packages consider the activation/ 
> inactivation of components to be post-install setup and choose the  
> defaults that make the most sense.  In our case I would expect that  
> all components selected during install would be active by default.

I think that is what we have now.  I don't see why we shouldn't let  
people turn them off if they want to.

david jencks

> Joe
> Dave Colasurdo wrote:
>> Erik Daughtrey wrote:
>>> Dave, Thanks for the comments...
>>> I made comments below.  Would you create installer component  
>>> JIRAs for the items that make sense?
>> Yep.  BTW, has it been decided if the installer is a 1.0.1 or 1.1  
>> item?
>>>  On Thursday 19 January 2006 17:02, Dave Colasurdo wrote:
>>>> Looks like the Installer has made quite a bit of progress.   
>>>> Thanks Erik!!
>>>> I'd like to suggest a few Usabality changes to the current  
>>>> installer..
>>>> I'm sure you are already aware of many of these and have plans  
>>>> to update
>>>> them.  Just wanted to provide some input based on my first  
>>>> impression.
>>>> BTW, I've attempted to provide input based on my thoughts on how  
>>>> this
>>>> would be perceived from the perspective of a first time user.
>>>> *Package Selection Panel*
>>>> 1)The available selections are really a hierarchy
>>>>   -Server
>>>>   --J2EE Features
>>>>   ---Jetty Web Container
>>>>   ----Jetty Sample Applications
>>>>   ---Tomcat Web Container
>>>>   ----Tomcat Sample Applications
>>>> Does Izpack allow you to capture the hierarchy graphically?
>>> Not that I've seen.  It looks like it's strictly a list box.
>>>> If not, anyway to insert padding to the front of entries to show  
>>>> the
>>>> hierarchy to the user?  I think this would be a better solution  
>>>> than the
>>> Inserting spaces is something worth trying.
>> I experimented with inserting spaces in front of the pack names  
>> and it
>> seemed to work fine. As expected, this also requires that all  
>> references
>> to the pack name in geronimo-izpack.xml, izpack-process.xml and  
>> izpack-user-input.xml need to be updated.  This results in a panel  
>> that seems to show the hierarchy visually.  Though adding the  
>> spaces for each element in the xml files is a real hack and does  
>> seem troublesome. There should be an easier way to accomplish this  
>> without  unnaturally padding or creating a custom panel.  I'll  
>> post a question on this subject on the izpack mailing list.
>>>> "Dependencies" box and would more clearly convey the relationship
>>>> between selections.  Also, we should remove the dependencies box  
>>>> and the
>>> I don't think it's possible to remove the dependencies box and  
>>> keep the overall look and feel.
>> Will also post this on the izpack mailing list.  Are they  
>> responsive to
>> suggestions?
>>>> other righthand box that contains the Logo.  The description box  
>>>> should
>>> I agree that the 2nd graphic is redundant at this point.   
>>> However, one thing we have not explored is the fact that the  
>>> graphic on the right is actually different for each pack although  
>>> for now each is a distinct instance of the same bitmap.  There is  
>>> the potential to enhance each bitmap - possibly by making the  
>>> Geronimo image subdued while overlaying something related to the  
>>> pack.  I have not tried removing the graphic, but I don't think  
>>> it's possible to remove it and keep this look and feel.
>>>> be located directly to the right of the main selection box OR  
>>>> below it
>>>> on the left.
>>> I doubt that this is easy to change.  We can look into making  
>>> some of these changes in more detail at some point.  Anything is  
>>> actually possible depending on the capabilities of IzPack itself  
>>> and how much we're willing to diverge the Geronimo installer from  
>>> the IzPack codebase.  It may actually be possible to make some of  
>>> the changes without changing IzPack, but based on what I know  
>>> right now, I don't think so.
>>> We've already diverged from the IzPack codebase and we need to  
>>> factor these changes into IzPack as we move forward or we may run  
>>> into problems related to these changes later as IzPack itself  
>>> diverges.  I'm struggling a little with this at this point given  
>>> that IzPack is a generalized installer and some of the changes  
>>> made are specific to Geronimo.  I tried to keep the changes  
>>> separated, but our requirements are reflected in code I wanted to  
>>> keep generalized anyway. I don't want to boil the ocean, but I'd  
>>> also like to minimize problems occurring from the two distinct  
>>> dev paths as much as possible.  Graphical look and feel changes  
>>> might be less painful to push back into IzPack, but it's still a  
>>> little worrisome.
>>>> I like the way the dependant boxes interact (turning off  
>>>> something at
>>>> the top of the hierarchy automatically trickles down to the  
>>>> dependant
>>>> choices)..
>>>> 2) It seems that we are allowing the user to choose two web  
>>>> containers?
>>>>     I thought we would limit the choice to just one?
>>> The operator can install both containers, but they cannot  
>>> activate both at runtime.
>> For simplicity, I'd prefer to limit them to one web container.  I  
>> would
>> think this is what 95% of users would want. I think it is  
>> confusing for
>> a user to install two web containers and keep one disabled.  Isn't  
>> the
>> installer targeted for a novice user and not a sophisticated user  
>> that
>> wants to swap containers on the fly.  Awhile back we had binary  
>> images with multiple web containers and it caused lots of  
>> confusion with users.
>>>> 3) It seems that it is currently possible to pick-and-choose  
>>>> selections
>>>> that result in a server that won't start.  We need to decide which
>>>> choices are valid and assure that the resulting installations  
>>>> all work.
>>>>    Flexibility is great, but we don't want to give users the  
>>>> ability to
>>>> choose non-working installations.
>>> The intent is to prevent the building of a non-working server.   
>>> There's only one instance I'm aware of that will result in  
>>> problems and it will be fixed soon.  If daytrader is selected,  
>>> with no database, then obviously there will be problems.  David  
>>> Jencks has suggested that we just go ahead and install Derby when  
>>> the J2EE Features are selected -- and I plan to do this.
>>> If you're aware of other instances please enumerate them...
>> My initial selections produced a server that wouldn't start.
>> I'll go back and retry a few permutations to see if it is  
>> different than
>> what you described.
>>>> 4) The available disk space seems to only be specified for  
>>>> "Server".  I
>>>> assume the other selections will eventually be updated.
>>> IzPack only displays this for packs which have files associated.   
>>> This is one of the current issues about the installer. It  
>>> installs everything.  This will be addressed.
>>>> 5) Should the "Server" selection  be re-labeled as Geronimo  
>>>> kernel or
>>>> Geronimo base infrastructure or something to better reflect what  
>>>> it is?
>>> I don't have a real opinion on this.
>>>> 6) The "Greyed out packs are required" comment is somewhat  
>>>> confusing..
>>>> Perhaps just adding the word (Required) next to the server  
>>>> selection and
>>>> removing the other comment would be clearer.
>>> IzPackism. Fixing this would require overriding the ImgPacksPanel.
>>>> *Base Configuration Panel/Web Container Panel*
>>>> 7) Not sure I understand the "Active at runtime" selections and  
>>>> how they
>>>> differ from the selections I've already made on the "Package  
>>>> Selection
>>>> Panel".. Is the idea that the package selection identifies which
>>>> packages get physically laid down on the target machine and  
>>>> "Active at
>>>> runtime" determines which of these are configured as initially  
>>>> enabled?
>>>> Not sure how common it would be to select a component and then  
>>>> specify
>>>> that it is disabled.  Is it more appropriate to assume all  
>>>> choices are
>>>> enabled at installation and any disabling shoud be done directly  
>>>> in the
>>>> resulting installtion (perhaps via the admin console).
>>> The installer is reflecting some some of the capabilities of  
>>> Geronimo.  I posed this question to the list a while back. The  
>>> response I received was that this type of behavior would be  
>>> desirable.
>> I think we should discuss the issue a bit more with the  
>> community.  From a *user  perspective* , how common will it be to  
>> install a component (aka pack) and then want it disabled in the  
>> resulting installation. Installation should be about installing a  
>> simple working configuration.  Uncommon configuration options  
>> (install and disable) shouldn't be a mainline choice in the  
>> installer.  Advanced configuration should be done after the server  
>> is installed (e.g via the adminconsole or by updating xml files).   
>> I found the separate "active at runtime" panels to be a bit  
>> confusing and suspect it will cause confusion with novice users.
>>>> 7.5) The Web container "Active at runtime" selections are greyed  
>>>> out by
>>>> default when the Tomcat container is selected.  Seems the  
>>>> default should
>>>> be enabled.
>>> Bug. Fixed now. JIRA 1505.
>>>> *Configuration Checkpoint Panel*
>>>> 8) Is it possible to place a confirmation summary of all the  
>>>> selections
>>>> and their size on this panel?
>>> The summary is possible. The sizes might be interesting.
>>>> *Installation Progress Panel*
>>>> 9) Probably want to pretty this Panel up with a Title such as
>>>> "Installing Geronimo components".
>>> I figured this panel needed a little work.
>>>> 10) The installation panel seems to hang for awhile even after the
>>>> progress bar indicates completion.  Eventually the "next"  
>>>> selection is
>>>> available.  Is this a pblm with izpack?  Any chance of getting a
>>>> "completed message" in Big letters on the panel?
>>> Packs installation?
>>> It would not be trivial to change the packs installation panel.
>>>> *Processing Panel"
>>>> 11) I had initially assumed the installation was now done and was
>>>> surprised that there was still more installation steps to be done.
>>>> Perhaps just a title on this Page "Installing Geronimo  
>>>> configurations".
>>> Processing Panel is an IzPackism.  Changing the title is not  
>>> trivial. It's possible that something might be done though.
>>>> 12) Would be nice to have "Configuration completed successfully" or
>>>> "Configuration failed" message at the end of the output. Perhaps  
>>>> this is
>>>> just adding the word "successfully" to your existing message.
>>> That's easy to add to the text being inserted into the processing  
>>> panel text box by the ConfigInstaller run.
>>>> 13) I see that the installer allows a user to create an automatic
>>>> installation script.  Is this a response file that can be used  
>>>> to invoke
>>>> the installer silently?
>>> Yes, just supply the name of the xml saved as an argument to the  
>>> installer.
>>>> 14) I like the fact that you provided a default installation that
>>>> doesn't require any selections other than accepting the  
>>>> license.  Just
>>>> hitting next->next->next..  Joe's mom will appreciate that.  :)
>>> I want to cruise Joe's mom's web site when she's done :)
>>>> Hope these comments aren't too nitpicky..  I think the installer is
>>>> really shaping up nicely. Sometimes minor changes to panels make  
>>>> big
>>>> differences in a user's first impression..
>>>> Thanks
>>>> -Dave-
> -- 
> Joe Bohn
> joe.bohn at
> "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he  
> cannot lose."   -- Jim Elliot

View raw message