[Development] To improve UX of the online installer
fromqt at tungware.se
Tue Apr 3 02:29:37 CEST 2018
Hi, excellent initiative, a better MaintenanceTool UX would also improve
the general opinion of Qt I think.
Just one to add 2 things to Sze Howe's list:
8c. For the users that, in search of a 32-bit MSVC2017-flavored Qt
version, downloads the UWP x86 (MSVC 2017) version of Qt, and then tries
to run it on Windows 7: please explain that the UWP stuff only runs on
11. Please make 'Update components' the default selection once you've
logged in, or 'Add or remove components'. Anything but 'Remove all
On 2018-04-03 02:14, Sze Howe Koh wrote:
> 3 broad issues impede new users who want to start using Qt and
> frustrate old users who want to update Qt:
> (A) Downloading metadata is very time-consuming.
> (B) The automatic mirror selection algorithm doesn't always pick
> the best mirror.
> (C) (New users) It's not clear how to choose what to install.
> Factors that contribute to (A) include:
> * The metadata downloader opens lots of short-duration TCP
> connections. Wireshark revealed 2391 HTTP GET requests from
> 22.214.171.124 (download.qt.io) on Windows. This process is less painful
> on Linux (1205 GETs -- almost half of Windows') as there are fewer
> * Downloading many small files is very inefficient compared to
> downloading a few large files. While GET-ting metadata from
> download.qt.io, my network traffic crawls at ~10 KiB/s (yes, ten
> kibibytes). After this, the actual binaries download from my
> designated mirror at ~1 MiB/s, which shows that metadata downloader
> doesn't make good use of available bandwidth. I'm in Australia.
> * MaintenanceTool downloads metadata too frequently (QTIFW-975).
> * If the metadata download fails halfway (e.g. one file times out),
> the whole process needs to start from scratch. There is no
> retry/resume. This makes the online installer nigh unusable if the
> user's connection to download.qt.io is flaky:
> * Currently, there is a way to manually avoid downloading unwanted
> metadata: Deselecting the unwanted Temporary Repositories. However,
> all 91 Repositories must be unchecked one-by-one, and this process
> must be repeated each time MaintenanceTool is restarted:
> Evidence for (B) include:
> * Geographical proximity does not imply mirror quality. E.g. a user
> from China finds Chinese mirrors too slow, and opts for non-Chinese
> mirrors instead:
> * The algorithm doesn't pick the closest mirror anyway. E.g. a user
> from Israel was given a Japanese mirror instead of a European mirror:
> Examples of (C) include:
> * Some users don't realize there are multiple kits per Qt version.
> They select "Qt 5.9.4" and then wonder why Qt is huge (35 GB):
> * Some users don't realize Qt Creator != Qt. They install Qt Creator
> without Qt and end up unable to build anything:
> * Some users don't realize they need to install a compiler separately.
> They also end up unable to build anything:
> Ideas for improvement (some render others unnecessary):
> 1. Amalgamate and compress all metadata into one file (or at least one
> file per "group").
> 2. Cache metadata locally and use a hash to identify them; avoid
> re-downloading metadata that's already available (Mitch Curtis
> suggested this at QTIFW-975)
> 3. Avoid downloading metadata for archived/advanced packages by
> default (Iikka Eklund said this is planned in QTIFW-975)
> 4a. Remember the which Repositories the user has deselected before,
> and ignore them for future sessions.
> 4b. Let the user choose broad "groups" that they are interested in,
> and remember this choice. For example, there is no point getting
> metadata for Android/UWP packages or showing these packages in the
> "Selection Tree" if I'm only interested in Desktop development.
> 5. Add a "Select/Deselect All" button to the Repositories page.
> 6. Allow retry/resume if the metadata download fails halfway.
> 7. Allow users to manually pick a mirror for binary download.
> 8a. Before the user is asked to "Select the components to install",
> show a short page that to explain the difference between Qt and Qt
> Creator and explain that a compiler must be installed separately
> unless MinGW is used.
> 8b. Before the user is asked to "Select the components to install",
> have a small wizard to ask a new user some questions -- Which
> version(s): Latest version, LTS version, or older version? Which
> target platforms? Which compiler? Or do they not care/know and want us
> to suggest a good default? Use the answers to pre-fill the "Selection
> Tree" and remind the user to download an external compiler if
> 9. If no Qt version is selected (or if too many are selected), pop-up
> a confirmation dialog before installing.
> 10. Expand the documentation at http://doc.qt.io/qt-5/gettingstarted.html
> Since (3) is already being planned, please consider (4) which is a
> generalization of (3).
> It would be fantastic to see a holistic approach that addresses (A) +
> (B) + (C). For example, (8b) helps the user make the right selection
> at the first try. At the same time, users' answers in (8b) feed into
> (4b) to download fewer metadata files and trim the "Selection Tree".
> This is further sped up by (1) + (2): Each "group" has its own
> amalgamated metadata file, and these files are cached locally to avoid
> re-downloading in the future. Once the selection is complete, (7)
> ensures that the use can get binaries in a timely manner even if the
> auto-selected mirror is no good.
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