Change defaults for installation

Michael Roycraft
Michael Roycraft
Joined: 10 Mar 05
Posts: 846
Credit: 157,718
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Topic 190203

Hello, All,

I think that the installer (Windows) should have the checkboxes for "Start on boot" and "Make xxx the default screensaver" unticked by default. We all know that the typical person installing a program a) does not read the EULA, and b) simply clicks "Next", "Next", ..., "Finish". A few of us have spent beaucoup time on these message boards, helping folks with "graphics bug" problems, and most of those problems could be eliminated for new participants simply by reversing the default options, making them opt-in rather than opt-out. Experienced, heavyweight contributors already forgo the eye candy screensaver for more crunching cycles, and the graphics bug problems aggravate, frustrate, and turn off newbies, as well as waste thousands of hours of crunching each day on invalid results.

The "Start on boot (or whatever)" option causes problems for those who don't recognize that their box is permanently crunching, so they get aggravated, etc. by unexpected, seemingly inexplicable slowdowns or lockups.

These problems, and the ill-advised options that cause them, are unnecessary and could be easily eliminated.

Regards,

Michael

(edit) I know about the 0.18 beta app solving many of the graphics issues, but it has issues of its own (i.e. lengthening crunchtimes on most platforms) that presumable are being worked out. Hopefully so, at least, because decreasing productivity for the heavy contributors (who don't need the graphics fix) in favor of the part-time contributors is counter-productive. I am assuming here that quantity of work outweighs quantity of workers, and we'd all like to hear something regarding the progress of the replacement for the old 4.79 app, PLEASE!!!

microcraft
"The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice" - MLK

Stick
Stick
Joined: 24 Feb 05
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Credit: 3,336,604
RAC: 3,554

Change defaults for installation

I agree with Michael's recommendation. These boxes should be unchecked by default, thereby forcing the user to make a conscious decision regarding the screensaver, et al. Philosophically, I think that's the right way to do things.

However, I really doubt that making such a change will have much of an impact on the "graphics bug" problem we have both become very frustrated over. That is, I think the BOINC/Einstein screensaver is one of the attractions that bring new users in. (I could point to several "new user/screensaver problem" posts that say as much.) But requiring new users to check the box on installation is definitely a good idea and I think it would only serve to prove my point (that a lot of new users are attracted to BOINC/Einstein because of the screensaver).

I would also like to add my "two cents worth" to Michael's second point - under (edit): That is, Einstein v4.79 needs to find it's place in history (somewhere between the slide rule and the soon to be retired Seti Classic). It is a dinosaur that has somehow survived the "extinction" that BOINC 4.45 and 5.2.X should have rendered upon it. The "graphics bug" is a huge problem to new users. And Michael's suggestion to change the screensaver default (although an excellent idea) will amount to nothing more than giving us new a flyswatter. We need a new science app that works like it's supposed to - screensaver and all!

I am also sensitive to Michael's point about processing efficiency - although, I think his logic is somewhat reversed on this issue. I believe that the first priority for the science app should be "bug free" operation - so that new/inexperienced users can get started without having to face the likes of the "graphics bug". If that means sacrificing processing speed "so be it". On the other hand, I think the "experienced, heavyweight contributors" he talks about deserve to have options they can elect to exercise to enhance their productivity - like foregoing the screensaver, installing "optimized" apps, etc. But the new user shouldn't be burdened with such decisions (like whether or not to use the Beta app).

I have posted this suggestion in a couple of other places (so forgive me for being redundant). Why not make the current Beta app (v0.18) official and offer v4.79 as an anonymous platform installation? Doing so would do wonders for the new user/graphics bug problem and it would also give experienced users the option to keep things the way they are. That would reverse the current decisionmaking scheme and put the responsibility for deciding where it ought to be - on users who know what to do.

Forgive me for rambling a bit here, but Michael has once again provided me the excuse to vent some of my frustrations. I think both Michael and I would feel a little better if we had some indication that our opinions were at least being read. In other words, it would be nice to get a little feedback from "the powers that be" once in a while.

Michael Roycraft
Michael Roycraft
Joined: 10 Mar 05
Posts: 846
Credit: 157,718
RAC: 0

RE: I agree with Michael's

Message 19731 in response to message 19730

Quote:

I agree with Michael's recommendation. These boxes should be unchecked by default, thereby forcing the user to make a conscious decision regarding the screensaver, et al. Philosophically, I think that's the right way to do things.

However, I really doubt that making such a change will have much of an impact on the "graphics bug" problem we have both become very frustrated over. That is, I think the BOINC/Einstein screensaver is one of the attractions that bring new users in. (I could point to several "new user/screensaver problem" posts that say as much.) But requiring new users to check the box on installation is definitely a good idea and I think it would only serve to prove my point (that a lot of new users are attracted to BOINC/Einstein because of the screensaver).

I would also like to add my "two cents worth" to Michael's second point - under (edit): That is, Einstein v4.79 needs to find it's place in history (somewhere between the slide rule and the soon to be retired Seti Classic). It is a dinosaur that has somehow survived the "extinction" that BOINC 4.45 and 5.2.X should have rendered upon it. The "graphics bug" is a huge problem to new users. And Michael's suggestion to change the screensaver default (although an excellent idea) will amount to nothing more than giving us new a flyswatter. We need a new science app that works like it's supposed to - screensaver and all!

I am also sensitive to Michael's point about processing efficiency - although, I think his logic is somewhat reversed on this issue. I believe that the first priority for the science app should be "bug free" operation - so that new/inexperienced users can get started without having to face the likes of the "graphics bug". If that means sacrificing processing speed "so be it". On the other hand, I think the "experienced, heavyweight contributors" he talks about deserve to have options they can elect to exercise to enhance their productivity - like foregoing the screensaver, installing "optimized" apps, etc. But the new user shouldn't be burdened with such decisions (like whether or not to use the Beta app).

I have posted this suggestion in a couple of other places (so forgive me for being redundant). Why not make the current Beta app (v0.18) official and offer v4.79 as an anonymous platform installation? Doing so would do wonders for the new user/graphics bug problem and it would also give experienced users the option to keep things the way they are. That would reverse the current decisionmaking scheme and put the responsibility for deciding where it ought to be - on users who know what to do.

Forgive me for rambling a bit here, but Michael has once again provided me the excuse to vent some of my frustrations. I think both Michael and I would feel a little better if we had some indication that our opinions were at least being read. In other words, it would be nice to get a little feedback from "the powers that be" once in a while.

emphasis mine :-}

Stick,

You've had some good ideas and I think that this is going in the "Stick Hall of Fame". Making the 0.18 the official app, forcing the changeover, and only then allowing the option to consciously elect to "revert" to an anonymous v4.79 (at least until a newer version cures the "0.18 slowdown") would present the best for both cases. It would certainly eliminate my one and only gripe regarding the 0.18 app, and allow me to cease playing the PITA role, which I never did cherish.

PS - Sorry for not issuing a formal invitation to "Shootout II", but my original intention was just to suggest the default reversal, and then one of those "Now,now" moments overcame me. :-}

(edit) - About 2-3 weeks ago, I came across a host that had been crunching for over 3 months, with zero credit, every single WU listed errored-out with the "graphics bug" code. What a tremendous waste. HELP!!!

microcraft
"The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice" - MLK

Pooh Bear 27
Pooh Bear 27
Joined: 20 Mar 05
Posts: 1,376
Credit: 20,312,671
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It is best to send this

It is best to send this message to the Boinc Message Boards since UWM has no control over how Boinc is written.

Michael Roycraft
Michael Roycraft
Joined: 10 Mar 05
Posts: 846
Credit: 157,718
RAC: 0

RE: It is best to send this

Message 19733 in response to message 19732

Quote:
It is best to send this message to the Boinc Message Boards since UWM has no control over how Boinc is written.

Pooh Bear,

I agree, and have done as you suggested. Thank you.

Michael

microcraft
"The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice" - MLK

Michael Roycraft
Michael Roycraft
Joined: 10 Mar 05
Posts: 846
Credit: 157,718
RAC: 0

RE: RE: It is best to

Message 19734 in response to message 19733

Quote:
Quote:
It is best to send this message to the Boinc Message Boards since UWM has no control over how Boinc is written.

Pooh Bear,

I agree, and have done as you suggested. Thank you.

Michael

Pooh Bear, and all

Posting this suggestion on the Boinc/Boinc Manager messageboard has elicited no response and few views so far. Would you suggest emailing it to the dev group?

microcraft
"The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice" - MLK

Pooh Bear 27
Pooh Bear 27
Joined: 20 Mar 05
Posts: 1,376
Credit: 20,312,671
RAC: 0

RE: Pooh Bear, and

Message 19735 in response to message 19734

Quote:

Pooh Bear, and all

Posting this suggestion on the Boinc/Boinc Manager messageboard has elicited no response and few views so far. Would you suggest emailing it to the dev group?

I can tell you it is a holiday weekend in the US (Thanksgiving day was yesterday), so the Devs are probably sleeping off their Turkey dinners, today.

Plus the Dev team is also the ones who run Seti, which is in full gear for the shutdown of Classic, etc. Next week their main project is merging the two databases behind the scenes. Plus they are moving hardware around to keep Boinc version going with all the new users coming online.

I suspect that the Management software is probably on the back burner for a bit, and even if they need to make a change, the installer will be the last part looked at.

So, I suspect it's mostly waiting out the mass chaos they have themselves in.

Michael Roycraft
Michael Roycraft
Joined: 10 Mar 05
Posts: 846
Credit: 157,718
RAC: 0

Pooh Bear, Thank you for

Pooh Bear,

Thank you for taking the time to think this over, research, and explain to me.

Now I can stop holding my breath, waiting for action. :-} The last time that I wrote code was in 1983, when I was recruited by Commodore and familiarizing myself with the C64, and the last time I wrote a complete program was 1970, learning Fortran for IBM 360. However, I think that the coding revisions necessary to incorporate the changes that I've suggested should amount to changing 1 value each, in 2 lines of code, times however many currently-available versions use an installer - not particularly time-consuming, I would guess.

microcraft
"The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice" - MLK

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