[openbeos] Re: on SoftwareValet for OBOS

  • From: "Michael Phipps" <mphipps1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 21:20:46 -0500

Please, do us all a favor and post more.
This is well reasoned.

I (much as I hate to admit it) really like Windows Update.
A user level app that does this would be very cool (i.e. not an integrated 

I can't come up with a decent answer, though, on how to deal with rebooting.
See - some kits could be cool with replacing themselves. Anything not active 
at that moment. Screen saver, input, printing, etc. Maybe even networking COULD 
OK. But what do you do about app_server? And kernel is OUT OF THE QUESTION - 
you *have* to reboot for kernel updates. :-)

I guess that it is "ok" to say something like "this update will become active 
next time
you reboot".

>Hi. I?ve been lurking here for a long while ? never posted anything because 
>I?m not a developer or remotely technical, just a keen ?Joe Sixpack? BeOS 
>user. However, it seems to me that my _lack_ of expertise makes me qualified 
>to contribute something to this thread. Just think of me as somewhere 
>between the developers on this list and your grandmother..
>In brief: I?m all in favour of one-click installations (or updates), and I?m 
>all in favour of SV (or something like it) being bundled with OpenBeOS. I 
>think that while SV may be peripheral to the OS from a technical standpoint 
>? it?s just another utility, right? ? from a user experience standpoint it?s 
>central. Because:
>***1. Updating apps is FUNDAMENTAL***
>Most BeOS apps are still very much in development and go through .1 and .0 
>updates frequently (how many SoundPlay updates have there been?). Also, 
>these updates are generally desirable (unlike, say, updating MS Word from 
>5.0 to 6.0), so you want to get them. This means that updating software is 
>not something you do occasionally, it?s something you do pretty frequently. 
>(This seems unlikely to change in the near future, given where we are in the 
>OS and apps? lifecycles.)
>***2. More keystrokes = more Bad Things ? ***
>This is perhaps more an argument in favour of .pkg, but anyway: multiply the 
>number of times you update an app (as above) by the number of keystrokes 
>needed to install it, and you have some kind of proxy for the likelihood of 
>Bad Things happening.
>If you can reduce this to a dialogue box from oSV (openSoftwareValet) that 
>?You have SoundPlay 4.6.4 currently installed. SoundPlay 4.6.5 was released 
>on 20th November. Would you like to download and install it now? [Y/N]?
>.... then I think we?re home and hosed.
>***3. Less Bad Things = more users***
>The less unzipping and copying has to be done, the less potential for 
>mistakes there is; the fewer mistakes, the less frustration => better user 
>experience => more ?Wow? factor => more word of mouth => more users.
>The frustration, of course, is the real killer here. Sooner or later the OS 
>gets blamed, and people go back to Windows. And we can?t have that now, can 
>***4. You guys are technical. Most users won?t be.***
>Critical point. Err on the side of ?dumb? when thinking of your lowest 
>common denominator user. You can always put more options in menus if you 
>need to.
>You might think of a pyramid of (actual and potential) OpenBeOS users, i.e. 
>highly technical at the top, less technical as you go down:
>Level 1: A small number of technical guys (like you) at the top. Compiling 
>binaries? No problem.
>Level 2: People like me.  Can?t compile binaries; can unzip and copy if you 
>tell me clearly where it goes; but would much prefer a .pkg file. Would 
>really love something like SV (which I?ve never used, BTW) to tell me when 
>the next version of SoundPlay has come out and install it for me. Easy, no 
>worries I?ve put it in the wrong folder, just crisp, snappy instant 
>Level 3: Your grandmother. A much larger number of people who aren?t at all 
>confident unzipping and copying; they want something like InstallShield 
>where they can click ?I agree? and ?Next? ... and even then, there?s an 
>audible ?Ooh!? when the next dialogue box comes up.
>Further - I put it to you that as you make arithmetic increases in the ease 
>of use (i.e. as you go down the pyramid), you get geometric increases in the 
>number of potential users. For every one kernel guy there?s 10 developers, 
>100 power users, 1,000 Joe users, etc.
>At the moment the BeOS community is largely towards the top of the pyramid ? 
>as you would expect for a young OS (how many people signed those Save BeOS 
>petitions ? 4,000?). To get enough users for long term viability, it has to 
>be easy enough for those legions of grandmothers.
>So yeah, I?d like to see some sort of oSV included with OpenBeOS. I wouldn?t 
>want to see it as a third-party thing, because from a user point of view 
>using software is why you have an OS in the first place, and to use it ya 
>gotta install it first, so .. it should be right there with the OS, IMHO.
>Oh, and when OpenBeOS is in full swing and there are OS updates coming out, 
>as opposed to app updates? Everything I said above, squared. Gotta have an 
>unfuckupable installer then (though I guess the app installer might be 
>different to the OS installer [??]).
>Apologies for the length (first post, y'know), and apologies in advance for 
>any technical stuff I?ve got wrong above(!).
>Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp

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