[arch-releng] size of the "display" (framebuffer?) on our images

Michael Simpson michael at abstract.fm
Thu Feb 19 11:01:18 EST 2009

On Feb 19, 2009, at 9:13 AM, Loui Chang wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 02:52:17PM +0100, Gerhard Brauer wrote:
>> For us maybe a grub entry with parameter vga=ask is the best, so  
>> users
>> could select their resolution.
>> But IMHO we should "design" our bash dialogs in a way that they  
>> also be
>> usable on a normal 80x25 console..
> Yeah I agree we should design things to fit within 80 columns.
> I find longer lines are generally harder to read and edit than shorter
> lines as well.

I think we may be overlooking the real issue.

If anyone is familiar with genkernel (gentoo kernel building tool) I'm  
almost certain you are able to scroll left and right when selecting  
options. I will scour for the example I'm thinking of and see if I can  
turn anything up. Modifying the field to behave this way would  
effectively resolve Dieter's primary concern separating the text  
overflow from the issue of resolution. And indeed, I see these as  
being two explicitly different items. Dan McGee's point of netbooks is  
valid and IMHO should not be taken lightly- there are an increasing  
number of people interested in using linux on low resolution/obscure  
devices. Personally, I think it's great and should be encouraged  
instead of discouraged.

I think any sort of character limitation should be very carefully  
considered. Things should be designed to scale gracefully by means of  
a solid interface not by designing things to fit in 80 columns or any  
other fixed number.

Resolution selection would be a nice bonus feature, I have worries  
that allowing a slew of different resolutions will introduce issues we  
don't yet foresee but they are based on nothing but cynicism. The more  
I am thinking about it, I feel strongly that an installer "style- 
guide" based on a certain size is inherently flawed. Both of these  
mask the underlying design issue though which is that the fields are  
not flexible enough to handle more than X characters.

These problems have been dealt with, there are valuable precedents  
which, as I said, I will certainly dig deeper if other's would like me  
to I'll find the gentoo menus I was talking about and sift their  
source a bit. I'll look into some screenshots/screencast this evening  
if someone asks for them.

Kind regards,


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