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Feature #10178

Rephrase syslinux screen

Added by sajolida about 4 years ago. Updated almost 3 years ago.

Status:
Resolved
Priority:
Normal
Assignee:
-
Category:
-
Target version:
Start date:
04/25/2016
Due date:
% Done:

100%

Feature Branch:
feature/11975-boot-menu-wording
Type of work:
End-user documentation
Blueprint:
Starter:
Affected tool:

Description

The current syslinux screen displays:

Boot Tails

Live
Live (failsafe)

The word "live" here is not relevant: either people know what "live" means and they don't need it, either they don't know what "live" means and this screen is not the place to introduce this notion.

My favourite version as of today is:

-- no title --

Tails
Tails (troubleshooting mode)

We're usually avoiding the term "boot" but we will already have a "Start Tails" button in the Tails Greeter and we're using "Boot Menu" to refer to the syslinux screen in the documentation.

Related patch: https://mailman.boum.org/pipermail/tails-dev/2015-September/009505.html


Subtasks

Bug #11365: Clarify the security implications of 'failsafe' startup optionResolved

Bug #11975: Wording of boot menu entries ("Live") is unclearRejected

History

#1 Updated by sajolida about 4 years ago

  • Related to Feature #10045: Set up Flattr section in our Donations page added

#2 Updated by sajolida about 4 years ago

  • Related to deleted (Feature #10045: Set up Flattr section in our Donations page)

#3 Updated by sajolida almost 4 years ago

  • Assignee set to sajolida

#4 Updated by sajolida almost 4 years ago

  • Description updated (diff)

#5 Updated by sajolida almost 4 years ago

  • Description updated (diff)

During the testing session of the Installation Assistant we realized that "failsafe" was often misunderstood ranging from associating it with the Windows Safe mode or "fail**safe**" with some security property.

"Debug" is probably more neutral and wouldn't suffer from these downsides. We could also add the "debug" option to the command line when choosing this.

#6 Updated by sajolida almost 3 years ago

  • Description updated (diff)

#7 Updated by sajolida almost 3 years ago

  • Description updated (diff)
  • Assignee changed from sajolida to intrigeri
  • QA Check set to Info Needed

I've been taking a lot of time on this issue because I'm still not happy with the "Boot Menu" title and would like to change this screen only once and for good.

The problem I have with "Boot Menu" is that we're using this same terminology for the boot device menu in the installation instructions, see for example https://tails.boum.org/install/inc/steps/not_at_all.inline/.

Having two different menus named the same way is not good and I would also find it useful to be able to designate it somehow, be able to call it the "XXX menu" or "XXX screen".

I thought about "Syslinux Menu" which is what it is, or "Boot Option Menu" (in contrast wit the "Boot Device Menu") and because you can use it to change boot options.

And whatever we call it we could decide to display this name on the screen as it is now (replace "Boot Tails" with "Syslinux Menu" for example) or hide this naming and only use it the documentation (as it anyway needs to be clarified with a screenshot as we're doing now). Maybe I prefer hiding it.

Since intrigeri and lamby seem to be up for working on this now, maybe they can give me their opinion on this last point.

#8 Updated by sajolida almost 3 years ago

  • Type of work changed from Code to Discuss

#9 Updated by intrigeri almost 3 years ago

  • Assignee changed from intrigeri to sajolida

I've been taking a lot of time on this issue because I'm still not happy with the "Boot Menu" title and would like to change this screen only once and for good.

Sometimes I'd love to improve things that are obviously very bad (in current Tails) in an iterative way, and not wait until the perfect solution is found "once and for good". If we had taken Chris' patch 14 months ago, UX would have been better since then. But whatever, I've often been the one resisting changes in the hope of a perfect solution ;)

The problem I have with "Boot Menu" is that we're using this same terminology for the boot device menu in the installation instructions, see for example https://tails.boum.org/install/inc/steps/not_at_all.inline/.

ACK. In my branch for #11975 I've cheated and simply dropped the title, that felt unnecessary and too prone to never-end{ed,ing} discussions for my taste.

Having two different menus named the same way is not good and I would also find it useful to be able to designate it somehow, be able to call it the "XXX menu" or "XXX screen".

Sure.

I thought about "Syslinux Menu" which is what it is, or "Boot Option Menu" (in contrast wit the "Boot Device Menu") and because you can use it to change boot options.

I think we should be specific since BIOS/firmware vendors use all kinds of generic terminology to name their boot device setup menu, firmware config menu, etc. So whatever generic name we would choose has chances to conflict with one that's already used.

And whatever we call it we could decide to display this name on the screen as it is now (replace "Boot Tails" with "Syslinux Menu" for example) or hide this naming and only use it the documentation (as it anyway needs to be clarified with a screenshot as we're doing now). Maybe I prefer hiding it.

I've hidden it in my branch for #11975. I see little reason to display additional text.

#10 Updated by u almost 3 years ago

I very much like the proposed solution by Chris and intrigeri. Deleting "Boot Tails" and then having "Start Tails" and "Start Tails (failsafe)" feels like an improvement to the current situation.

Maybe later we want to replace "failsafe" by "debug".

Oh, and "Syslinux menu" is worse than "Boot menu" imo. Ununderstandable for a lambda user, too much technical info one does not need.

#11 Updated by sajolida almost 3 years ago

Sometimes I'd love to improve things that are obviously very bad (in
current Tails) in an iterative way, and not wait until the perfect
solution is found "once and for good".

I know this. But sometimes:

  • We're doing the first increment and never any second one.
  • Doing several increments implies more additional work than doing one.

In this particular case (UX, documentation, and terminology), I felt
that the additional work on each possible increment (updating the
screenshots, updating the documentation, making sure that the new
terminology works everywhere) would have to be done by me and, in my
precarious balance of free time and personal interest when doing
volunteer work, I preferred taking the time to rephrase the whole screen
at once as it looked a feasible task, not worth being further split. And
sorry it takes me so much time to make up my mind on terminology and
phrasing sometimes. The help of huertanix on #11365 was very good to
keep things moving. Now, if someone else felt different and had stepped
in with a branch fixing all the peripheral issues implied by changing
this screen I would have been very happy to review and merge it.

ACK. In my branch for #11975 I've cheated and simply dropped the
title, that felt unnecessary and too prone to never-end{ed,ing}
discussions for my taste.

Cool! And you did that before my comment so it seems like we both came
up with a similar solution in parallel. Let's try that then.

I thought about "Syslinux Menu" which is what it is, or "Boot
Option Menu" (in contrast wit the "Boot Device Menu") and because
you can use it to change boot options.

I think we should be specific since BIOS/firmware vendors use all
kinds of generic terminology to name their boot device setup menu,
firmware config menu, etc. So whatever generic name we would choose
has chances to conflict with one that's already used.

Right. For example, not all vendors call the boot menu screen "Boot
Menu" and I think I've seen some call if "Boot Device" or similar.
By "generic", does that mean that you would prefer "Syslinux Menu" over
"Boot Device Menu"?

I've hidden it in my branch for #11975. I see little reason to
display additional text.

Great spirits meet!

#12 Updated by sajolida almost 3 years ago

Deleting "Boot Tails"

Agreed.

and then having "Start Tails" and "Start Tails (failsafe)"

I don't want to call it "Start Tails" because we'll already have a
button with the exact same label on the future Tails Greeter.

Maybe later we want to replace "failsafe" by "debug".

We agreed on "Troubleshooting" on #11975 and I'm not really excited
about reopening this discussion in a different ticket and without
arguments on why your proposals would be better.

So for me, the last remaining discussion to have is about how to call
this screen in the documentation: "Syslinux Menu", "Boot Option Menu",
"Boot Options Menu", something else?

But thanks everybody for helping moving this forward again. We're almost
there and this should be in 2.8!

#13 Updated by intrigeri almost 3 years ago

  • Status changed from Confirmed to In Progress

sajolida wrote:

So for me, the last remaining discussion to have is about how to call
this screen in the documentation: "Syslinux Menu", "Boot Option Menu",
"Boot Options Menu", something else?

I really want to avoid the conflict with how firmware vendors call their own menus: e.g. my laptop already has a "Boot options" menu. So the only candidate that I find OK, among those that were mentioned so far, is "Syslinux Menu". One problem with it, though, is that in some cases (32-bit UEFI) it's actually displayed by GRUB, instead of syslinux, and it might be that we'll move all boot methods to GRUB one of these days. So I wonder if "Boot Loader Menu" might be a good option: it's more correct technically right now, and will require less updating work in the future if we switch to GRUB. Also, it could be that more users are familiar with the "boot loader" concept, than with the name of a specific implementation (syslinux) that's mostly used for corner cases like live/installation media, and not used in most GNU/Linux distros (they use GRUB instead).

What do you think?

#14 Updated by sajolida almost 3 years ago

  • Target version set to Tails 2.10
  • QA Check deleted (Info Needed)

I agree with everything you said and like "Boot Loader Menu". Now that all my phrasing concerns are solved I'll try to implement all this for 2.10. Help is welcome.

#15 Updated by intrigeri almost 3 years ago

I agree with everything you said and like "Boot Loader Menu". Now that all my phrasing concerns are solved I'll try to implement all this for 2.10. Help is welcome.

I've already updated a big part of the doc, and added "XXX" indications in a bunch of places where stuff is left to do. I think I'll do what's left of mechanical doc updates myself, and will leave it to you to find out how to introduce the "Boot Loader Menu" concept, now that it doesn't match something that's written on the screen anymore.

#16 Updated by intrigeri almost 3 years ago

  • QA Check set to Info Needed
  • Type of work changed from Discuss to End-user documentation

intrigeri wrote:

I've already updated a big part of the doc, and added "XXX" indications in a bunch of places where stuff is left to do. I think I'll do what's left of mechanical doc updates myself,

Done.

and will leave it to you to find out how to introduce the "Boot Loader Menu" concept, now that it doesn't match something that's written on the screen anymore.

There you go :)

#17 Updated by intrigeri almost 3 years ago

  • QA Check deleted (Info Needed)
  • Feature Branch set to feature/11975-boot-menu-wording

#18 Updated by sajolida almost 3 years ago

  • Assignee changed from sajolida to intrigeri
  • QA Check set to Ready for QA

So cool that you spotted and fixed all these places! I did a bit of nitpicking with 155159f..3c326e8.
Regarding the name disappearing, I didn't find anything special to fix in the end as in the Installation Assistant, Tails Greeter is introduced in the same way: it has no name but the screenshot is provided to clarify context.

So I think we're good to go!

#19 Updated by intrigeri almost 3 years ago

  • Assignee changed from intrigeri to anonym

ACK, looks good => sending to the RM's plate.

#20 Updated by anonym almost 3 years ago

  • Status changed from In Progress to Fix committed
  • Assignee deleted (anonym)
  • QA Check changed from Ready for QA to Pass

Merged, thanks!

#21 Updated by anonym almost 3 years ago

  • Status changed from Fix committed to Resolved

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