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Re: Poll: Most helpful feature after 1.3?

On Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 7:53 AM, o1bigtenor <..hidden..> wrote:

> Your response is why I thought very seriously of not saying anything.
> I am NOT a computer expert.
> I have used computers from a Mac plus in 1986 through various
> iterations to a PC in 1999 starting with Windows SE and then moving to
> first RedHat (full time in 2001 part time investigating before that)
> and then to Debian in 2007 (wanting a longer cycle between upgrades
> than 6 months).
> I run a farm.
> I have also worked for wages full time for most of the last 17 years.
> I USE computer systems.
> I haven't felt a need to want to create computer systems (programs etc).
> The instructions given for Debian installation were very frustrating.

Ok.  Now we are getting somewhere :-).  These are the sorts of details
that are helpful to us.

To make sure we are on the same page, you are talking about the
instructions that came with the .tar.gz, right?

Also do you know which version you installed and ran into all these
problems?  I am asking to try to get a sense of how things may have
changed since then.
> It was assumed that you had Postgres running.
> It was assumed that you had all the associated programs (like psql)
> running and correctly linked.

Before getting into where we might be able to improve the
documentation based on your feedback, one issue is worth mentioning
regarding the tarballs.  The tarballs are intended to be installed on
a wide range of operating systems (they should be able to be installed
on various UNIX systems, Windows, Linux, BSD, etc).  So I don't think
we will ever be able to provide comprehensive distro-specific
instructions anywhere.  On top of that, the Debian specific
documentation is not authored by me.  Generally I have assumed that
packages solve this problem (.debs), but I also recognize that since I
am not a Debian user, those will have to be packaged by someone else.

This being said, your comments suggest there is room for improvement.
First, I don't know if there were .debs available at that time, but if
there were maybe we didn't do a good enough job of making sure people
knew about them.  Secondly it might be worth adding a "before you
begin" checklist.  Things like "Make sure PostgreSQL is installed and
running and that you can access it with psql."  As well as suggestions
as to where to find additional documentation if you run into trouble.

It might also be worth pointing out this list as a place for install help.

> It was assumed that you had Apache running.
> It was assumed that you knew how to make these programs work harmoniously.
> It was assumed that if anything didn't install correctly that you
> would KNOW how to fix the issues and repair the now broken install.

>From these comments it sounds like you may have into the
incompatibility with a feature of Apache (SUExec) that we inherited
from SQL-Ledger.  This was only recently reported to us and we got it
corrected in the most recent release, not that this helps you now.
Maybe if we push the list as a place to get installation help these
problems will be reported and fixed sooner.

> One of the issues I remember running into was trying to determine
> which password was being asked for. Was it for the Postgres superuser
> or the LedgerSMB superuser or the Postgres database owner.

Ok.  That's good feedback.  Do you remember if you installed
PostgreSQL with apt-get?  I am assuming so, right?

It might be worth mentioning something about default configurations
that many distributions use.

> It was after many hours of paid help that I was able to get LedgerSMB
> installed - - then I could not figure out how to log in. I tried all
> the combinations of things I could think of. I used  commands to
> install new superuser passwords after removing the old ones. Nothing
> worked. So I just gave up.

Ouch.  Again, good feedback.  A little extra documentation here could
have solved this.  My apologies.
> I see myself as a business owner/operator and have become somewhat
> capable as a computer user so when I read your response to my
> suggestion it was like what I have heard lots of time 'RTFM'. Well I
> have read manual and I can tell you more about whats happening in a
> cow's gut by looking at her feces than I can tell you about how to set
> up the 'common' involved *nix program.

That wasn't the spirit of my response.  Rather I wanted to ask for
details as to the problems you ran into so we can improve things.  Now
you have provided more information so we can see what we can do about
it.  You evidently had a bad experience and getting details is helpful
in ensuring it doesn't happen again.

Ok, so now this has been said, what do you think of the ideas here
that we could focus on a little more?  What else do you think we could
do better to avoid similar problems the next time around?

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers