idea for 10.04

Patrick Goetz pgoetz at
Mon Sep 28 16:43:29 UTC 2009

Conrad Knauer wrote:
>>give the users at some point during the installation process options of what
>> office suite browser and mail client they would like installed. 
> Short answer: this is a bad idea.
> Longer answer: the whole point of an Ubuntu install is to keep it as
> simple as possible with sane defaults;

Although what you say is certainly true, I can easily see new users 
using an install as a way to acquaint themselves with what options are 
available and being able to make choices when they already know what 
they want to use.  An MS Windows or Mac user migrating to linux will 
already know about Thunderbird, for example; evolution, not so much. 
And without the choice, one ends up with a desktop with evolution icons 
everywhere, an unnecessary /usr/lib/evolution/evolution-data-server-2.26 
running in the background, and so on, while the ability to make just a 
couple of choices could result in a fully functional desktop immediately.

I occasionally open Synaptic just to familiarize myself with available 
packages by browsing through the package descriptions.  By far the 
biggest strength (and OK, maybe weakness, too) of OSS is the plethora of 
choices; knowing about some of the major ones might not be such a bad 
idea and could certainly help convince a new user that, "wow, this is 
much cooler than windows".

I think the applicable principle is that any problem can be solved by 
adding one additional layer of abstraction.  In this case, the install 
would be abstracted to just one choice:  Give me the default Ubuntu 
desktop install or let me select from options, which would take the user 
down the path of firefox, chrome, or both; evolution, kmail, or 
thunderbird, and so on.  Wouldn't that satisfy both points of view?

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