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Date:      Thu, 19 Jan 2012 15:51:52 -0800
From:      Devin Teske <>
To:        "'Chad Perrin'" <>, <>
Cc:        Dave Robison <>
Subject:   RE: FreeBSD 9
Message-ID:  <050101ccd705$51e08a20$f5a19e60$>
In-Reply-To: <20120119231446.GA27565@hemlock.hydra>
References:  <BLU160-W54C133B8003EF140C41EF7AE860@phx.gbl>	<> <4EFDA3B50040906E@>	<20120119164234.GB21488@hemlock.hydra>	<04db01ccd6df$a6ebe3f0$f4c3abd0$>	<>	<04ff01ccd6fa$ca9a4e20$5fceea60$> <20120119231446.GA27565@hemlock.hydra>

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: [mailto:owner-freebsd-
>] On Behalf Of Chad Perrin
> Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2012 3:15 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: FreeBSD 9
> On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 02:36:29PM -0800, Devin Teske wrote:
> > > From: Frank Shute
> > >
> > > The new installer will get better with time.
> >
> > The new installer is buggy, and the above maxim is something I'd
> > rather not have to deal with when downloading RELEASE software.
> I do not dispute that the new installer is "buggy", nor do I agree that it is

It surely has numerous usability problems.

a. SHIFT+TAB is interpreted as "ESC" causing a dialog to be dismissed with no
easy way to return to said dialog

b. TAB does not move the cursor to the next field in a multi-field dialog such
as IPv4 manual configuration (usability issue arises when you press TAB, nothing
happens, you next try ENTER and are surprised null fields are
accepted/not-validated and you're then whisked off to the next screen; again, no
easy way to return to said dialog despite the fact that clearly bad-values were
given for netmask/etc.)

c. stderr is sent to the same console as stdout, making it impossible to read
errors as they get printed and then subsequently wiped from screen by the next
dialog (this ties into the above... the bad values provided cause errors which
can't be seen; you only see them fly by for a micro-second and can't use
Scroll-lock to view them as dialog wiped the buffer).

d. Almost no user-provided values are taint-checked. A hostname for example does
not need to conform to any of the given RFCs that dictate the format of a
multi-label FQHN.

e. bsdinstall provides no easy way of discovering which arguments it supports
(other than looking in /usr/libexec/bsdinstall -- which if you don't know this,
you're in the dark). That is to say that it has no "-h", no "--help", no "list",
and no exploration mode. This usability issue is fueling threads that propose we
remove any/all post-installation procedures from bsdinstall and move them to a
new utility called "bsdconfig" which provides a master-list of all sub-modules
that can be invoked (as this closer matches how "config" utilities are utilized
versus "install" utilities). It really is a serious usability issue that
"bsdinstall" without arguments does not have an execution path that can lead to
re-obtaining the network configuration dialog (which you've presumably
bombed-out-of due to one of the previously-mentioned usability issues).

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