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Re: disk vs partition numbering
Re: disk vs partition numbering
Wed, 13 Dec 2006 03:14:29 -0500
Mail/News 220.127.116.11 (X11/20061116)
Yoshinori K. Okuji wrote:
On Saturday 09 December 2006 01:17, Hollis Blanchard wrote:
On Tue, 2006-12-05 at 20:46 +0100, Yoshinori K. Okuji wrote:
Oh, btw, it's HIGHLY confusing that disks start at 0, partitions at
1. Could you please fix it and make it consequently? either hd1,1
or hd0,0, but not hd0,1 or hd1,0.
No. It is consistent with most operating systems, so less confusing to
the user. GRUB Legacy used 0-based counting for partitions, and I have
received an uncountable number of complaints. Thus it is really a bad
idea to make GRUB inconsistent against other systems.
I am very glad partitions are now numbered from one; that will certainly
reduce user confusion (although we should expect complaints from people
who know how grub1 works).
However, we will now receive lots of complaints, like this one, because
disks start at zero but partitions start at one. After all, we've all
learned that consistency is critical for good user interface...
Agreed. Yes, consistency is extremely important. Unfortunately, there are two
types of consistency in this world:
- Mathematical or symmetrical consistency
- Customary or accustomed consistency
As you know very well, GRUB Legacy follows the former. I decided to change it
to the latter in GRUB 2, as I don't have to care about compatibilities with
GRUB Legacy so much, and I learned that theoretical beauty is often just a
masturbation when coming to the user interfaces with experience.
There are so many "inconsistencies" in computers. For example, lines are
counted from 1. Columns are counted from 0. AFAIK, all editors and viewers
follow this convention. If one makes it "consistent", probably a lot of
people would feel uncomfortable.
The critical thing is how to reduce new things that people would have to study
for using a program. GRUB Legacy made a mistake, since nearly all operating
systems use 0-based for disks, and 1-based for partitions. In GRUB Legacy,
compatibilities preceded the learning curve. That is why one chapter is used
only to train people for a new thing in the manual! The same thing is
described more formerly in a later chapter as well. This is the cost in
having inconsistency with other materials. Not about the cost in writing
documentation. It is about the cost in millions of people reading many lines
again and again.
Now, some people say that this is inconsistent against GRUB Legacy. OK. I
admit it. But which is more important in a long run: easy for existing users
to migrate to GRUB 2, or easy for new comers to adapt GRUB 2? How difficult
is it that existing users know GRUB now follows the same rule as others? How
difficult is it that beginners study a rule different from others, so not
intuitive at all?
I like that fact that grub is different. :-)
All software should refuse to work unless the manual is read, grub
legacy was like that for me. :-)
I take that back, software should work without having to read the
manual, grub legacy was NOT like that for me.
Maybe grub should use the way of designating a disk/partition in the
same way as what OS it is running on?
Yes, being different for each OS. :-)
Re: GRUB2 - testing report, hppa support?, Vincent Pelletier, 2006/12/11