Register a domain and help support LQ
Go Back > Forums > Non-*NIX Forums > General
User Name
General This forum is for non-technical general discussion which can include both Linux and non-Linux topics. Have fun!


  Search this Thread
Old 12-09-2012, 10:52 AM   #1
Senior Member
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: London
Distribution: CentOS, Salix
Posts: 3,451

Rep: Reputation: 920Reputation: 920Reputation: 920Reputation: 920Reputation: 920Reputation: 920Reputation: 920Reputation: 920
The horror! The horror!

Those who read the distro reviews my have noticed that I write some of them. Last Friday I was testing ZenevOS. The live session looked much like last time, so I started to install it on my guest partition. At one stage, things seem to have stuck: wondering if it had registered my click, I clicked on "proceed" again. I wouldn't have thought that clicks would be stored, but that second click was taken as consent to the next page: disk configuration. Who'd have thought that the default action would be "use the whole disk"? Who'd have thought that it would reformat the disk without asking for confirmation? By the time I realised what was happening, the deed was done. I have just spent 2 days reinstalling OS and programs, restoring /home from backups, reconfiguring everything. The job is not yet finished.

Is there a moral? Perhaps, "more haste, less speed". Perhaps, "always keep your backups up-to-date". Really, I just felt the need to vent. I feel better now. Almost.
Old 12-09-2012, 11:03 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: $RANDOM
Distribution: slackware64
Posts: 12,928
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 1279Reputation: 1279Reputation: 1279Reputation: 1279Reputation: 1279Reputation: 1279Reputation: 1279Reputation: 1279Reputation: 1279
Point and click isn't always your friend. In slackware you have partition things yourself, and usually this is done with fdisk or cfdisk which have confirmation screens. I know in cfdisk (which I use) you have to type 'yes'.
Old 12-09-2012, 01:37 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2011
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Distribution: CentOS 6 (pre-systemd)
Posts: 2,021

Rep: Reputation: 524Reputation: 524Reputation: 524Reputation: 524Reputation: 524Reputation: 524
Wow. Great example of how not to do a user interface. Sounds like two problems:

1) Why should the OS installer reformat your disk? That violates the Principle of Least Astonishment. It should expect you to give it a free partition. If you don't have one it should fail and tell you what you need to do. And BTW it should provide a tool for clearing a partition or reformatting your disk if that's what you want to do. This idea that it has to do everything in one go is just wrong. If you're too stupid to do 2 or 3 steps to install an OS, then you probably should not be using a computer. Confirmation dialogs are the mark of bad code.

2) I've never seen a guideline on when to flush the keyboard/mouse buffer. Is there one? Seems obvious to do it if you are changing the whole page, but there's a whole continuum of other cases. Seems like this is done inconsistently. When I do 'yum update' and it starts downloading 600MB I like being able to type 'Y-enter' and walk away so it will all be installed when I get back with fresh coffee, but others may disagree.
Old 12-09-2012, 08:58 PM   #4
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Mageia, Mint
Posts: 9,093

Rep: Reputation: 1756Reputation: 1756Reputation: 1756Reputation: 1756Reputation: 1756Reputation: 1756Reputation: 1756Reputation: 1756Reputation: 1756Reputation: 1756Reputation: 1756
"Principle of Least Astonishment."

I like that. I learned a new term today.

I'm the guy who accidentally clicked "Restore" instead of "Backup" on his webhosting service and wiped out two days' posts on his blog (fortunately, they were the usual deathless drivel). Something about clicking while sleepy.
Old 12-10-2012, 07:51 AM   #5
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Chennai, India
Distribution: UBUNTU 5.10 since Jul-18,2006 on Intel 820 DC
Posts: 715

Rep: Reputation: 167Reputation: 167
For a disk wipe, usually there should be at least one confirmatory prompt and accept. So it is 2 most astonishing things. For more on the principle of least astonishment and related practices, read "The art of Unix programming" by Eric S Raymond.


Last edited by AnanthaP; 12-10-2012 at 07:52 AM.
Old 12-10-2012, 09:26 AM   #6
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2011
Location: UK
Distribution: Debian Sid AMD64, Raspbian Wheezy, various VMs
Posts: 4,207

Rep: Reputation: 952Reputation: 952Reputation: 952Reputation: 952Reputation: 952Reputation: 952Reputation: 952Reputation: 952
Coming from the guy who formatted his /home partition in gparted due to a lapse in attention I feel your pain. The installer sounds very borken though -- most I've come across will just error out and do nothing unless you tick a few boxes and click yes a few times.
Old 12-10-2012, 12:04 PM   #7
Senior Member
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: London
Distribution: CentOS, Salix
Posts: 3,451

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 920Reputation: 920Reputation: 920Reputation: 920Reputation: 920Reputation: 920Reputation: 920Reputation: 920
The installer is Ubuntu's Ubiquity, which ZevenOS have customised. Making "use the whole disk" the default instead of "use free space" was their idea.

I still haven't finished. The printer has to be re-installed: perhaps this time I may persuade it to run without SELinux having to be turned off before I use it. And there's my one Windows program, where the exe in ~/.wine was luckily preserved in my backups, but which Wine can't find now because it wasn't installed: I have to click on the program in Nautilus and choose the "open with Wine option".


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lan on SuSE10: HORROR!!! Monkey 9 SUSE / openSUSE 20 02-09-2007 07:40 AM
This is right out of a horror movie... rusty_slacker General 13 12-31-2005 04:26 AM
Horror GirlFirend Checking on my PC. novkhan Linux - Security 18 09-23-2005 01:06 AM
Power Outage horror Hampster Mandriva 5 01-13-2005 08:38 PM
PostgreSQL horror finally over TexasDex Member Success Stories 1 04-27-2003 02:46 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:13 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration