KDE neon's Welcome Screen
Open, Needs TriagePublic

Description

Hi, I've been thinking that KDE neon could have been to more things for the newbies, for example, if it has Welcome Screen, like in Linux Mint.

This Welcome Screen should help to easy and quickly set up your system, read the documentation, get help and and contribute.

Welcome:
Welcome text to users.

First Steps:
There is should be prompts for setting up the system, as well as a description of what it.

Documentation:
I think here should leave a link to Basics Guide like in elementary OS (https://elementary.io/docs/learning-the-basics#learning-the-basics), and something else.

Help:
Something from this https://kde.org/support.

Contribute:
There would to a links to Get Involved and Donate pages from kde.org

KonqiDragon updated the task description. (Show Details)Nov 6 2019, 12:57 AM
KonqiDragon updated the task description. (Show Details)
jriddell removed a project: Neon.Nov 6 2019, 9:23 AM
jriddell added a subscriber: jriddell.

I've removed kde neon from this as kde neon just ships what Plasma and the rest of KDE ships, we don't make vendor specific changes.

Generally first run dialogues have gone out of fashion. This sort of dialogue did exist in KDE 2 time and it just gets in the way of users who want things to 'just work' so I doubt it'll have many supporters.

It's a distributions job to get users up to snuff with the desktop environment during the installation phase. See for example openSUSE's installation or Ubuntu's background installation part which shows users a slideshow of things they can do and expect from their new desktop.

ognarb added a subscriber: ognarb.Nov 6 2019, 11:54 AM

This welcome dialogue are very popular, for openSUSE this looks like this:

. Note this is a distribution welcome dialogue and not a first run dialogue like in KDE 2 with configuration. So I wouldn't include configuration links.

Generally first run dialogues have gone out of fashion.

This welcome dialogue are very popular

Which one is it? ๐Ÿ˜†

cblack added a subscriber: cblack.EditedThu, Nov 7, 1:06 AM

This welcome dialogue are very popular, for openSUSE this looks like this:

. Note this is a distribution welcome dialogue and not a first run dialogue like in KDE 2 with configuration. So I wouldn't include configuration links.

The lack of configuration will be changing in Xfce whenever I feel like finishing the first config features there.

Including simple configuration isn't too out of place in first welcome dialogs. Ubuntu MATE recently acquired a panel layout selector in their welcome.

Interesting, I was thinking about something like that as well to create an easy on-boarding experience for users that only have experience with other operating systems (in particular Windows and macOS). The less time users have to spend to figure out new interfaces, the sooner they can get work done/enjoy the system, which in my opinion is a great quality of life improvement.

Question is just: should this be a thing the DE does, or shouldn't it rather be the task of a distribution to create something like that, seeing how additional packages might be required (Latte Dock for example to mimic the macOS dock) and the DE in general doesn't know if those packages are available in the repositories of the distribution or not?

sitter added a subscriber: sitter.Fri, Nov 8, 11:05 AM

We have distro-independent ways to refer to software (appstream ids) so software stores understand what we mean. So, there is no technical problem here. Heck, even without it there wouldn't be. Calamares manages to be a distro-independent installer that can be used by all distros and made their own. There is no reason we couldn't have the same for a first start experience.

I would also like to add that we used to have first start dialogs up to KDE 3.2 (possibly later) in the form of KPersonalizer which more or less roots in the orignial KDE 1 setup wizard featuring kandalf.

They were, as I recall, not much liked and most/all enduser distros would patch them out or not ship them at all.

There is a fundamental problem with (first) start dialogs of any kind: they are interrupting the advanced user and smothering the new user.

  • The advanced user has to deal with them getting in the way, this is arguably not sooo bad... but... death by a thousand papercuts. If the first thing we do is annoy the user, their journey sure is off to a bad start.
  • The new user on the other hand is soooooooooo easily smothered by too much information. A good example of this is people using digikam for the first time, the first start dialog (if it still exists anyway) asks questions most people will not be able to answer without either having strong understanding of photography or having used digikam before. They get people overwhelmed and decide that the app is too professional for them. On the other end of the spectrum, if you ask no questions but only give information that will be considerably too much information. Like, say you point them to userbase, it's good to know about userbase but there's too much stuff and on first login there likely won't be any immediate questions that userbase would be well suited to answer anyway. So, you are giving the user tools they don't need (yet). Or the wrong ones: KTips are notorious for this. They tip such trivial stuff that all but the most new of new users will get no value from them.

With all that in mind I think it'd be a good idea to actually write down what the problem is you want to solve and then see if a first start dialog is in fact the best solution for that problem. If we want to get new users started, maybe an interactive demo like you see on some websites may be better (here you can add get to your applications, here you can add cool stuff to your workspace, here you shut down the computer...)? Maybe help resources need to be made easier to discover? Maybe we need better ways to help users discover cool features and/or software?

Dumping everything at the user all at once hardly seems the best solution. In particular because the needs change, as a user moves from newbie to professional they will equally get annoyed and ignore first start interruptions.
Food for thought.

ognarb removed a subscriber: ognarb.Fri, Nov 8, 11:21 AM
ognarb added a subscriber: ognarb.Fri, Nov 8, 11:23 AM

I'd like to propose a very simple Since having an entire window at first boot could be annoying, what about a simple permanent notification? It's way less annoying to close than an entire window, but it would still be very noticeable to new users. The notification could have two buttons to open the installer or dismiss the notification (if the notification close button isn't enough).

I'd like to propose a very simple Since having an entire window at first boot could be annoying, what about a simple permanent notification? It's way less annoying to close than an entire window, but it would still be very noticeable to new users. The notification could have two buttons to open the installer or dismiss the notification (if the notification close button isn't enough).

macOS does this. IMO it's pretty annoying, but that might just be because of how many times I've had to get rid of them for the hundreds if not thousands of macOS systems I've set up in my lifetime. :p

I'd like to propose a very simple Since having an entire window at first boot could be annoying, what about a simple permanent notification? It's way less annoying to close than an entire window, but it would still be very noticeable to new users. The notification could have two buttons to open the installer or dismiss the notification (if the notification close button isn't enough).

macOS does this. IMO it's pretty annoying, but that might just be because of how many times I've had to get rid of them for the hundreds if not thousands of macOS systems I've set up in my lifetime. :p

You're right, I think that the Welcome Screen in elementary OS (https://youtu.be/FxRzd8On6wU) is most kool, it doesn't take up much space, it can be easily removed forever by pushing on "Skip All" and also it helps to set up the system, it would be kool to do something like this.

If something like that is going to be used, it would be good if the user could click _anywhere else_ to dismiss this window.

I'm more a fan of what @niccolove suggested: use notifications to ask the user "hey do you want to do this?", although I wouldn't make it permanent, but have it run a time out instead.

Still, over all this is not something that KDE should tackle, but something that should be up for individual distributions to set up. That way they can also make sure to include their branding.

mglb added a subscriber: mglb.Sun, Nov 10, 9:29 PM

There are two groups of new users:

  • Those who install the system and use it later:
    • All this stuff should be available when the system installs itself. Users have to wait until it completes anyway, so this is probably the best moment.
    • If they had something better to do during installation, they are self-confident enough to find "New user guide", "Help" or something in application launcher.
  • Those who get already installed system:
    • Important option to have: language/region selector. I think many devices with Linux/KDE come from smaller companies, which don't have large official distributors in each region, so the system uses US English by default. The first thing we should do for people who don't know English is to talk to them in their language (and don't confuse them with inverted date format :) ).
    • You probably want to give them possibility to change their name/login, password.
In T11979#207745, @mglb wrote:

There are two groups of new users:

  • Those who install the system and use it later:
    • All this stuff should be available when the system installs itself. Users have to wait until it completes anyway, so this is probably the best moment.
    • If they had something better to do during installation, they are self-confident enough to find "New user guide", "Help" or something in application launcher.
  • Those who get already installed system:
    • Important option to have: language/region selector. I think many devices with Linux/KDE come from smaller companies, which don't have large official distributors in each region, so the system uses US English by default. The first thing we should do for people who don't know English is to talk to them in their language (and don't confuse them with inverted date format :) ).
    • You probably want to give them possibility to change their name/login, password.

Now this makes a lot of sense to me. I'm a big fan of putting any wizard-style questions in the installer, for just the reason you provided.

The installation process part is already taken care of by most (if not all) distributions in one way or another though, see https://phabricator.kde.org/T11979#207050 and in my opinion it's the most sensible way to nag users when they set up their system, as the installer requires input by them on partioning and other settings anyway.

The second idea sounds like some kind of "Delivered by OEM" scenario. Similar to how OEMs now can pre-load Windows devices with their branding, software and other things. I think this would be a nice _seperate tool_ to have for system builders and integrators. Could be really nice inside a corporate environment when new users receive their machines, there won't be the need for IT personnell to explain everything to them. Or in a school setting when students log in for the first time with their own accounts they can get a quick introduction to the system on their own accord.

I think it's worth following this idea, but not as a KDE wide "integrated by default" solution.

OEM configuration is driven by installers already e.g. calamares https://people.ubuntu.com/~apachelogger/screencasts/vokoscreen-2019-05-03_11-43-36.mkv or ubiquity https://userbase.kde.org/Neon/Installation/OEM#First_Boot
Both aforementioned use cases are addressed by the same software using the same code. The "steps" can be different though (e.g. OEM config mostly needs no partitioning so this step is not part of it).

So, the two different groups are in fact the same. We can choose to have them get different "steps" but from a requirements POV you can think of them as equal. The user is fundamentally doing the same task, in one case they simply don't have to do partitioning first. This is an important point to note because "Users have to wait until it completes anyway" is unfortunately presumptuous. The throttling factor of an installation is mostly copying the disk image from the USB stick to the disk, and that is 100% subject to throughput limitations. The limitation can be next to none e.g. USB3/4 feeding into an SSD. I have systems where the neon installation finishes faster than it takes me to get a glass of water. IOW: given sufficient speed an installation is almost as fast as an OEM configuration and whatever difference remains is shrinking as hardware evolves. So, for a long-lasting design I'd suggest you forget about any slowness you have experienced during installation :)