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From David Jencks <>
Subject Re: v1.x Installer comments - Long
Date Fri, 27 Jan 2006 17:49:09 GMT
I'm afraid that there is a temptation we might be succumbing to to  
gold plate the installer since only eric is actually doing the  
work.    We can easily turn the installer into a permanent full time  
job for as many people as we can get to work on it.

Working on the installer is no fun IMNSHO based on my experience.  I  
want this part of the project to end really soon so eric can do  
something a bit more fun.

My point of view about the function of the installer is that it is  
the primary means we can show the component oriented nature of  
geronimo and let people build their own server.  It is considerably  
harder to set up geronimo using the installer than to unpack one of  
the prebuilt servers, and nothing we can do can change that.

I want the installer to show that you can build a lot of different  
servers out of the configurations we supply.  This means to me that  
it should  include exactly the parts you specify and that the  
configuration options for those parts you specify should be able to  
be set in the installer.  One of those configuration options is very  
definitely whether the configuration is started, so IMO it should be  
shown in the installer.

My preference would be to fix the icons, make the changes so only the  
jars for the configs you select are installed, and declare victory.

If we want more, I would prefer to insert warnings rather than  
disable functionality.  For instance, put a divider in between the  
ports etc and the check boxes for activating the configs that says  
"ADVANCED FUNCTIONALITY KEEP OUT" (obviously bad wording) and perhaps  
a warning page if you select 2 web containers "YOU PROBABLY DON"T  

That's more than enough of a rant.  To me the only critical missing  
piece in the installer is including only the needed jars.

david jencks

On Jan 27, 2006, at 8:22 AM, Dave Colasurdo wrote:

> David Jencks wrote:
>> On Jan 27, 2006, at 5:54 AM, Erik Daughtrey wrote:
>>> Given the comments I've gotten, I'm going to change the installer  
>>> and go back
>>> to the behavior where it does not allow the selection of both web  
>>> container
>>> packs to install. I'm going to ditch the additional buttons which  
>>> allow
>>> selected features to be inactive at runtime.
>>> We could put this up for a vote, but since there have been very  
>>> few comments
>>> on this topic, I assume that most folks just want an installer  
>>> that works
>>> well.
>> I pretty much strongly prefer the way the installer works now, I  
>> think I asked for it to be this way :-)
>> I won't stand in anyones way though.
>> My view is that the installer should present all the options  
>> reasonably available.  They are MUCH easier to configure in the  
>> installer than in any other way, and I think that the additional  
>> confusion while using the installer is minimal.
> I think most folks agree that the vast majority of users will never  
> want
> to run with two web containers installed.  The exceptions that I can
> think of are:
> 1) Geronimo developers - who most likely won't ever use the installer
> 2) Novice users who aren't sure which web container to use and want to
> try them both out. Rather than confusing them with instructions on how
> to setup ports for simultaneous containers or instructions on how to
> switch between web containers (creating two separate config stores or
> enabling the config to use just certain portions of the same
> config-store). Isn't it just simpler/easier to have them lay down two
> separate *isolated* installations for their comparisons?
> IMHO, the confusion of someone accidentally laying down two web
> containers outweighs any potential benefit.
> Concerning the enable/disable of selected components.  It seems quite
> strange to select installation options on panel 1 and then have  
> panel 4
> and panel 5 ask if you want the options that you selected on panel 1
> enabled.  I would guess that an average user might think "Didn't I
> already tell the installer I want these options installed?"
> What is the common use case for someone wanting to install an  
> option and
> then disable it immediately in the installer?
> Thanks
> -Dave-
>> thanks
>> david jencks
>>> regards,
>>> erik
>>>  On Wednesday 25 January 2006 21:53, Matt Hogstrom wrote:
>>>> David Jencks wrote:
>>>>> 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.
>>>> +1 One container per instance will satisfy 99% of the users I  
>>>> suspect.
>>>>>> 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.
>>>> I think for now we should dump them all to disk and then allow  
>>>> them to
>>>> assemble the user.  I don't think were sophisticated enough yet  
>>>> to help
>>>> users understand the difference.  One can refer to them as options
>>>> available for later configuration (disk bloat) and options for  
>>>> runtime
>>>> configuration (memory bloat). I'd leave it simple for now.
>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> "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
>>>>>>>>> "Active at
>>>>>>>>> runtime" determines which of these are configured as
>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>> Geronimo.  I posed this question to the list a while back.
>>>>>>>> response I received was that this type of behavior would
>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> greyed
>>>>>>>>> out by
>>>>>>>>> default when the Tomcat container is selected.  Seems
>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> *Processing Panel"
>>>>>>>>> 11) I had initially assumed the installation was now
>>>>>>>>> and was
>>>>>>>>> surprised that there was still more installation steps
>>>>>>>>> be done.
>>>>>>>>> Perhaps just a title on this Page "Installing Geronimo
>>>>>>>>> configurations".
>>>>>>>> Processing Panel is an IzPackism.  Changing the title is
>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> automatic
>>>>>>>>> installation script.  Is this a response file that can
>>>>>>>>> used  to
>>>>>>>>> invoke
>>>>>>>>> the installer silently?
>>>>>>>> Yes, just supply the name of the xml saved as an argument
>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>> 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
>>> -- 
>>> Regards,
>>> Erik

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