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pterjan's diary


  Mandriva Updates on Mandriva partitioning

Mandriva 2010 RC2 is about to be released, so here are some news about latest changes I did this week.

First, the partitioning wizard was updated.

During the last ten years it looked like this:


Only the custom partitioning was graphical.

Now it looks like this:


There are several known issues. First there is only one resizable Windows partition per disk, while I should change the one which has a slider when you click on another one. Another one is that I can not have the indicator aligned on top so there is no clear way to see where an option starts, so I temporarily added ugly separators

Other known issues are the color based on filesystem type so the new one is same color as existing ext* ones, no possibility to view content of a partition when clicking on it, and no information on partitions without label. I should fix all of this before 2010 final.

Another change, still related to partitionning: ext4 is now default FS!

Today's TSUKKOMI(Total: 19) [Add a TSUKKOMI]
  Andreas Nilsson (2009-10-09 13:08)

Red usually indicates danger, so you might want to reconsider using that color to represent the Mandriva part of the disk. I can see the value of making sure people know what they are up to, but this seems to be a bit overly dramatic. :)

  Snark (2009-10-09 14:02)

Indeed, "white" where there is nothing, "blue" where there's windows and "green" where you'll install an operating system would be better :-)

  Palin (2009-10-09 14:41)

I'll double it. Red for windows, tinkering with those filesystems could be dangerous :)

  Johan Thelin (2009-10-09 14:43)

I'm not sure that the new version is better from a usability perspective... a technologist does recognize the disk graphs, but to an ordinary user, I'd say that it is better to add more explanatory material to the first screen, perhaps with a graph to illustrate the original disk layout and then the resulting, given the current selection.

  Pascal (2009-10-09 14:52)

For the colors I used the code we had in the partitioner for 10 years (blue for windows, red for Linux, green for swap, white for empty)<br>

  Pascal (2009-10-09 14:54)

Johan: well that was the idea, the drawing at the top is current layout, and for some options there is a drawing of future layout

  Erwan (2009-10-09 15:05)

would be lovely that the installer could ask the email where you want to receive smart alerts :p<br>Anyway, looks nice ! I love the fact you display disk vendor/product name ! Thx !

  Palin (2009-10-09 15:20)

Pascal: I was kidding of course..

  Robert (2009-10-09 16:24)

Why don't you tidy up a bit and show only the current partitioning and the one selected?<br>This is basically what you would have:<br><br>Partitioning<br>------------<br><br>Here's the content of your disc drive |combobox|<br><br> |-----|---|----|-----------|-|--------------|<br><br>The DrakXPartition Wizard found the following solutions:<br><br> o Use free space<br> o Use existing partions<br> o Use the free space on a MS Win Partition<br> o Erase and use entire disk<br> o Use custom partitioning<br><br>Preview of new partitioning:<br><br> |-----|---|----|-----------|-|---Mandriva---|

  ReinoutS (2009-10-09 17:47)

I agree with Robert. This is visually overwhelming. (BTW, it should be "your disk drive" instead of "you disk drive".)<br><br>It would help if there was a legend for the grey and white partition colour codes as well.

  yoho (2009-10-10 00:08)

+1 for robert's idea ! At first look, there is too much information in the window, it looks cluttered.

  David (2009-10-10 11:08)

I agree with Robert too. The dialog box is too heavy with a mix of figures and selectors, and it feels messy (even if it is not).

  liberforce (2009-10-10 15:04)

+1 for robert again...<br>+1 for reinout for the color codes<br><br>I already said this, but I would bet any newcommer would stop the installation when seeing this screen.<br><br>On a more positive note, it's really nice that the disk name is now displayed.

  smcv (2009-10-10 20:23)

I think the colour coding is partly confusing because the newly created Mandriva partitions are the same colour as any existing Linux system (red).<br><br>Perhaps the new partitions could be a different colour, or they could be striped (e.g. diagonal red/white), or shown with a thick border, to indicate "this has changed"?<br><br>I think Robert's idea is good, too.

  Alfred (2009-10-11 05:43)

How about using mouse over to identify each block?

  Pascal (2009-10-12 10:56)

Having only one drawing for result could be better indeed. The original idea was to give a preview before people click, so that they better understand different options, but having more space to give more information while being more readable could be nice.

  Bill (2009-10-21 02:26)

+1 for robert again... it's too visually cramped. <br>I also think the colors should be at least softened if not changed to something less 8-bit-ish like pastels or earth tones, tradition or not.

  Stephen Usher (2009-11-06 12:01)

The new layout looks like a very large step forward.<br><br>Seeing the imminent arrival of desktop systems with hard disks >2TB in size, is there an opportunity to add GPT partitioning capabilities to the installer?<br><br>(I've already hit the barrier several times myself on Dell servers with hardware RAID arrays when trying to install Mandriva 2008.x/2009.x.)

  Pascal (2009-11-06 12:09)

The installer is supposed to handle GPT when it is already used on the disk, but it was not tested enough due to lack of hardware, so it does not yet offer to create such partition table.<br>I have only tried adding/deleting partitions on a USB key with GPT partition table.