We are making some great progress on Anaconda’s UI revamp mockups after last week’s Anaconda team meetings. Here’s the storage flow diagram, now annotated with the screen #’s from the mockups:
So let’s dive into the screens as they look so far. These are hot-of-the-press and may suck, so of course we’re posting them here for your perusal, critique, and feedback so we can make them better! I’ve tried to highlight areas where we’d like the most feedback just like this.
9-1-1 / Install Destination Simple
So the deal with this screen is that it’s the main / default interface for selecting disks connected to your system for installation. As mocked up here, you could say we’ve got a laptop with a blank SSD and some other smaller peripheral storage devices plugged in.
Local / Standard Drives
The top half shows your run-of-the-mill laptop hard drives, external USB drives, etc.:
- There’s a small piechart in the upper right that roughly & quickly shows how much space is taken up (filled in) and how much is free (unpartitioned + free on fs).
- If you hover over any of these standard drives, you’ll get a tooltip breaking down how much free space there is exactly, and what type is chunk is.
- The disks in this widget are listed from largest capacity to smallest capacity.
- If necessary, the list will scroll horizontally.
Specialized & Network disks
Most folks won’t need to use this at all, but this is how you’d go about adding ‘special’ disks such as iscsi/fibre, multipath/otherwise SANs or DASDs or things like that. For Fedora installations, we may, just may, hide this widget using an install class since Fedora’s main target is desktop. (If this would break your heart please let us know.)
Status bar area
Maybe it’s a bit heavy-handed, but we thought for some sticky situations between the selected software requiring ridiculous amounts of space vs there not being possibly enough disk space available for installation it might be good to have a status area that lets you know how you’re doing in terms of readiness for kicking off the install. So here we see a little note that says we haven’t selected any disks and we really need to! We don’t want this area to be chatty; it should just explicitly list out any items that need to be done before the install can be started. What do you think about the status bar?
There’s also a little summary above it, a link-style line of text that gives a summary of the current selections. In this mockup there are no selections, but if you click on it you’ll get a full summary of any selections you might have.
9-1-2 / Install Destination with Pre-existing OS
Here we’ve got the same screen as earlier, showing what the screen might look like with a desktop that has multiple hard disks installed and another OS (Windows 7) already installed to one of them.
Not too much to add here except that we’ll be running osprobe immediately preceding entry to this screen in which case we’ll seek out any OSes we know about and display them here. I’m a bit torn over this, because on the one hand it is helpful to know which drive is which, and knowing which OS is installed on which can help identifying disks. However, it might also scare folks away from using a drive because they assume selecting a drive that has Windows or whatever else on it means it’ll get blown away (it doesn’t.) So… I’ve been stewing on this. Any ideas?
9-1-3 / Install Destination plot thickens
- We’ve got some network disks in the list (you get whisked away to a different UI to select them then taken back to this screen to summarize the selections. We’ll not review those screens in this post.)
- We also see selected disks in the local/standard area. Is this clunky? I’m thinking ctrl+click to select but maybe that’s not obvious enough. Maybe they could have little checkboxes in the corner too and rather than be shift+click they’d just be click once to select, click one more time to deselect?
- If you hover over a ‘special’ disk, then you get some extended ‘special’ information about it. (WWPN, LUN, etc)
9-1-4 / Disk shopping cart
If you click on the summary link in the lower left, you’ll get a nice summary of the disks you’ve got selected for install here. Note that this screen would only have the top two disks in the list in it according to the selections on screen 9-1-3 just before this.
9-1-5 / You’ve got space!
So if you already cleared off space on your drives, added and selected a new drive, or simply had enough unpartitioned space lying around on your selected disks, you are good to go. On this screen, you can select the checkbox to go to advanced partitioning anyway, or you can avoid clicking on it and hit continue to go back to the main pre-install hub. Or you can cancel and add more disks.
9-1-6 / You could scrounge some space together…
You’ve got enough space, you really do. It’s just that it lay wasted within pre-existing filesystems at the moment. We can guide you through squeezing it out (mockup not covered in this post), or you can check off the advanced partitioning checkbox and shrink/delete partitions by yourself (again mockup not covered in this post. But wait until you see it. It’s… different!)
So we offer you some choices here:
- Reclaim your space, we’ll guide you through shrinking your filesystems.
- Reclaim your space through the advanced partitioning screen.
- Modify your software selection so it doesn’t require so much darn space!
- Go back and add more disks and come back later.
9-1-7 / Gimme more, gimme gimme more
Well, even if you deleted all of those photos of your cat, Britney and LadyGaga albums, and your KVM disk images… you’re just not going to have enough space at all, sorry.
We’ll still try to offer constructive solutions though:
- Back out and add more disks.
- Select a smaller version of Fedora to install.
- Quit the installer, and come back after you drop by BestBuy or order a new hard drive from newegg.com.