[tldoc] offer of help with an install guide for the unsophisticated windows user

Yue Wang yuleopen at gmail.com
Wed Jan 14 13:49:27 CET 2009


Some windows users don't want to install extra programs in C:/Program
Files/, and actually one of my classmate (he used windows for more
than 7 years) didn't know how to change the installation path. he was
confused with so much path there.

Yue Wang

On Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 12:37 PM, Reinhard Kotucha
<reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> before I comment Yue Wang's mail, let me ask another question.
> Brian, could you describe briefly the problems your friend
> encountered?  You said that your friend didn't know what a .zip file
> is.  Hence I suppose that he is not familiar with any text editor too
> and you had to explain him how to install a TeX Shell.  Is the TeX
> Live installer really the most difficult part?
> Yue Wang writes:
>  > Hi, Karl and friends:
>  >
>  > > Sorry to hear it.  It's supposed to be no harder than clicking "install"
>  > > (and perhaps changing the target directory), but I guess not.  I wish we
>  > > had a standard wizard.
>  >
>  > This is not only an issue concerning the document. When I tried
>  > Apple's Time Machine and Ubuntu's Wubi, I was impressed by the
>  > excellent user interface design of these programs, and I thought we
>  > can do that for TeXLive too. Honestly saying, the setup-tl and tlmgr
>  > contained too much options and buzzwords for new users, and of course
>  > we can certainly avoid that. For example, usually users are only
>  > concerned about their journal papers and books. They care about E=mc^2
>  > but don't want to learn something called "format", PATH, TEMFDIR,
>  > TEXMFSYSCONFIG, texmf.cnf, or language.dat, and they are reluctant to
>  > read the software manuals (inasmuch as reading the manual won't enable
>  > them to publish dozens of papers on top journals). These should be
>  > left for experience users. So I think we can make a new program
>  > (should be more user-friendly) to the users.
> I really hope that you do not suggest to remove all configuration
> options.  They are all useful and the defaults are fine.  You said:
>  > The current tlmgr can still be there since it provide the user with
>  > the maximum flexibilities for installation and maintain.
> But tlmgr is not supposed to move stuff from one directory to another
> one.  You have to tell the installer where you want to have things
> installed.  Thus I think that the installer can't be simplified very
> much.
> You also said:
>  > Honestly saying, the setup-tl and tlmgr contained too much options
>  > and buzzwords for new users, and of course we can certainly avoid
>  > that.
> tlmgr is a configuration tool.  It would be useless without the
> options it supports.  A newcomer doesn't need this tool at all.  It's
> sufficient to install a particular TeX Live release once and then
> simply use it.  I don't see any problem.  Avoid tlmgr if you don't
> need it or read the man page if you need it.  Where is the problem?
> You said that the installer has too many options.  It has a lot of
> options indeed.  But it has a lot of features too.  If you are not
> interested in these features, you can always launch the installer with
> an empty argument list.  It will certainly do what you expect.
> I don't know 'Time Machine' or 'Wubi', and therefore I don't know
> which improvements you have in mind.  However, Windows users swear on
> the InstallShield installer provided by Microsoft and claim that
> installing software this way is very easy.
> Why?  When you are using this installer, you are asked plenty of
> questions.  However, nobody cares about these questions because the
> default values are quite resonable and everybody presses the
> [continue] button repeatedly until the installation is finished.
> Quite easy indeed.
> Now let's compare this with Norbert's GUI for the installer.  Nobody
> asks any questions you are not interested in, you get an overview
> about all settings (all settings are reasonable by default) and there
> are two buttons at the bottom, [Install TeX Live] and [Quit].
> Isn't the TeX Live GUI installer much more straightforward than
> InstallShield?
> Actually it's *much* better and easier to use than what Windows users
> like so much.  They are bothered with configuration options too and
> they simply press the [continue] button repeatedly without reading
> anything.  The TL installer offers you to click on [Install TeX Live]
> immediately after it had been launched.
> You might claim that all the settings in the main menu confuse people.
> But if these options do not appear in the installer GUI, how can
> Americans be informed that they can easily switch from A4 to letter
> paper?
> User interfaces are always good for discussions but I think the
> install-tl GUI is quite good, even better than what is available
> elsewhere.  But as I said, I don't know anything about the programs
> you mentioned.
> If we don't have anything better to do we can provide a GUI which
> perfectly solves all the problems we invented ourselves.  However,
> I'm quite interested in Brian's experience instead.
> Regards,
>  Reinhard
> --
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
> Marschnerstr. 25
> D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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