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PGSQL 8.03 Windows Install Instruction Comments / Questions

From: <operationsengineer1(at)yahoo(dot)com>
To: pgsql-novice(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: PGSQL 8.03 Windows Install Instruction Comments / Questions
Date: 2005-09-14 19:06:11
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-novice
hi all,

i'm needing to update my dev laptop to pgsql 8.03 to
match my new in-house production database.  i recall
crashing and burning the last time i tried to install
pgsql 8.0 on windows just over a year ago.  that's why
i ended up going with cygwin / pgsql 7.4.x.

anyway, i'm reviewing the install instructions here:

i would like to make a few suggestions:

1. If you don't install as a service, these
instructions *assume* you'll know what to do when you
reach the end of the instructions.  well, i might be
the only guy in the world who had no clue here...  but
i had no clue what to do when i tried to install pgsql
8.03 w/o it being installed as a service.  if this is
a legitimate option, then this option should be
addressed more thoroughly.  if it isn't something to
be taken seriously, then a warning that the
instructions don't cover all the details of a non
service installation should be added *before* the user
makes this decision.  

my next install attempt will be as a service.  ;-)

2. i recall someone on this group explaining how pgsql
can be manually turned on / off (instead of
automatically being turned on start up) even though it
was installed as a service.  i'd like this
functionality.  it would be nice to have this
information in the install page.  others may find it
valuable - *especially* if the non service install
instructions are left incomplete.

3. Enable Contrib Modules should have a link taking
the installer to the page that explains what each of
the modules does and why it is important.  my guess is
most folks either check them all or just roll with the
default - but this may not be what they want and they
may not even know it.  in order to find out what they
want, they will likely have to do 15 - 20 searches on to get up to speed.  a single link with
this information would be preferrable to th user.

4. "You acn now go ahead and test your
installation..."  the "can" typo should be fixed.  i
know it isn't a big deal, but some folks will see that
and think pgsql must not be coded well.  believe me,
some folks are *that* simple minded - especially if
they work at MSFT and make lots of money executing FUD

secondly, what is a new(er) person going to ask upon
reading the aforementioned quote?  "how do i do that?"
 i think i can plug away at this and figure it out
given what i know and a service install.  if not, i
can go to the mailing list and visit all you kind
folks.  ;-)  visiting mailing lists shouldn't be
required, simple isntructions should be required.  if
the install is not a service then the issue apparently
gets even more complex (frustrating to new users).

for a non service install, my guess is that the next
step is executing initdb.exe.  if true (and it is a
best guess, i really don't know for sure), i'd never
know this by reading the install instructions.

if we can learn one thing from the pirates at
miscrosoft it is that our software should be
absolutely as easy as possible to get onto someone's
machine and get it operational.  being an extremely
complex piece of software, pgsql won't be a 1 click
event and still be optimal for the end user.  but i
think we do have to address the install complexity
with thorough instructions in a single location with
links to other information as required.  

i will be happy to help submit content, however, i
need to know the subject and know who to contact.  for
example, i'd be happy to research all the contrib
modules, copy the relevant descriptions into a single
file and email it to whoever controls the docs so they
could review it, create a web page and then link to it
from the installation isntructions.

i think the install instructions are 98-99% there and
i want to *really* thank all the folks who worked so
hard to make this possible - it is an extraordinary
effort. one i can't even imagine.  critiquing 1-2%
doesn't take much effort.  i *really* do appreciate
the 98-99% that has already been done very well.  i
want pgsql to be a raving success and the company i'm
contracting with is using it b/c i chose to use it.

this project still amazes me.  but that doesn't mean
that people won't get frustrated b/c the instructions
don't lead them to 100% completion in a linear way.

if they get it installed, i think they will like what
they get and begin to use it.  a lot!

ps - i just thought that it would be appropriate to
include pgadmin instructions to the install page, too.
 the goal shouldn't be to get pgsql on someone's hard
drive, it should be to install everything that will
make a newer user productive.  

perhaps the installation page should link to a "You
can now go ahead and test your installation..." (with
step by step instructions to test the installation)
page and the "You can now go ahead and test your
installation..." page should link to a "Getting
Started with PGAdmin3" (with step by step instructions
to connect pgadmin3 to postgresql and an introduction
to pgadmin3's help pages) page.

thanks for listening and do let me know what i can do
to help improve the documentation.

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