Handling complete failure in the installer

Roman Shtylman shtylman at gmail.com
Thu Nov 12 14:40:11 GMT 2009

Overall, I like the idea of a more fault tolerant installer... who wouldn't :)

Out of the three options that Evan presented, I have concerns about
option #2 (install then upgrade). To me this feels like back-peddling
and basically giving off the impression that this release is not
complete enough (since the installer couldn't even work). They may be
less likely to update once they go back and install the previous
version. It also may require them to go download a whole new disk
image (a concern for some).

The other two options are more proactive and suggest what the user can
do in the immediate sense to solve their problem. Option #1 I believe
to be the best. We may even want to remind the user what step they
were on and maybe which set of options they have selected to that
point? It might refresh their memory and possibly make any bug report
their choose to file more complete.



On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 9:18 AM, Evan Dandrea <evand at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> Right now, when the installer crashes it simply exits and an apport
> icon appears in the panel.  Clicking on the apport icon tells you that
> "ubiquity" crashes, but doesn't mention the installer, or next steps
> you can take to install.  It's also not obvious that you need to click
> on the apport icon.  Equally, apport is also supposed to be disabled
> for release, so users wont see anything at all when ubiquity crashes
> (save this time when Martin apparently forgot to disable it).
> My thought is to leave the apport interaction as is, but also pop up a
> dialog on failure that explains what recourse the user has, and
> provides a button that launches apport-collect ubiquity.  I've
> discussed this with Colin and he agrees that we need a better
> workflow.
> The mockup below is what I've come up with.  What does everyone think?
> <title>Well, this is embarrassing.</title>
> +---+
> |(X)| The installation has failed due to an unrecoverable error.
> +---+
> This is likely due to a bug in the installer.  Would you like to report it?
> [ Report Bug ]
> <b>You have several options before you</b>
> - <b>Try the installation again.</b>
>   <s>The bug you are encountering may be related to a particular option.
>   Choosing a different set of options could allow the installation to
>   complete.</s>
> - <b>Try to install an older version of Ubuntu, then upgrade.</b>
>   <s>You may not encounter the same error if you <a:1>install an older
>   version</a> of Ubuntu.  You may then <a:2>upgrade for free</a> to the latest
>   version.</s>
> - <b>Check CD for defects, try a new CD or a different installation medium.</b>
>   <s>The installation medium could be faulty.  It is reccomended that you run
>   the "Check CD for defects" option you saw when booting this CD/DVD.
>   This may rule out the possibility of a bad CD burn.
>   It may help to clean the CD/DVD, to burn the CD/DVD at a lower speed, or
>   to clean the CD/DVD drive lens (cleaning kits are often available from
>   electronics suppliers).
>   The <a:3>Startup Disk Creator</a> application will let you copy your
>   installation CD to a bootable removable device, such a USB disk.  These
>   devices are often more reliable than traditional CD media.</s>
> Notes:
> 1: <s> is my shorthand for <small>, <a> represents a link, - represent bullet
>   points in a list.
> 2: The "this is a bug, would you like to report it" message and "report bug"
>   button are only visible when /etc/default/apport has enabled=1.  Pressing
>   the button would run `apport-bug ubiquity`.
> 3: The Check CD for defects option is not visible when running from a USB
>   device.
> Links:
> 1: Does not exist yet.  We would need a page that displays older versions of
>   Ubuntu.  Until that exists, we can use http://releases.ubuntu.com.
> 2: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/upgrading
> 3: Links to http://wiki.ubuntu.com/StartupDiskCreator.  While it could launch
>   usb-creator-{gtk,kde}, it would be copying the potentially faulty image to
>   another device.  Linking to the wiki page also allows them to obtain the
>   Windows version of usb-creator.
> --
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