[Freedombox-discuss] Hackathon SFLC Halloween - pandodev comments on initial user experience

Carlos Cortes pandodev at gmail.com
Sun Nov 1 00:54:44 UTC 2015

Edit: Just wanted to give a shout out to David (cc-ed), who worked with me
on exploring/testing the FreedomBox web UI.

On Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 5:25 PM, Carlos Cortes <pandodev at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> I attended the Hackathon today, and it was the first time that I was coming
> into contact with FreedomBox in a meaningful way. I ran FreedomBox on
> Virtualbox from the distributed image (trivial) and experimented with the
> web
> UI as a new user. I have included my notes on the experience below in the
> hope
> that some rough edges may be identified as opportunities for improvement.
> It
> was a pleasure getting the opportunity to meet other members of the
> FreedomBox
> community and dev team.
> Cheers,
> Carlos
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Observations related to initial installation
> 1. virtio kernel panic on virtualbox
> Kernel Panic when using network adapter type 'virtio' on VirtualBox
> 2. VBox Guest Additions
> VBox guest additions installation fails because freedombox doesn't have X
> installed. Might want to make a mention of this on VBox install page since
> it
> is so commonly used.
> 3. nmap command in documentation
> The nmap command from doc didn't work for finding IP of freedombox since
> the
> SFLC office doesn't use 192.168.x.x. Did the appropriate thing for the
> network
> actually in use (10.5.53.x), but perhaps that section of the doc could be
> expanded to figure out more effectively the IP of the machine.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Experience on First Login to FreedomBox
> Feedback on the initial user experience.. this is all based on signing in
> for
> the first time and investigating the various applications that can be
> enabled.
> 0. Self-signed certificate Warning
> First time you access FreedomBox you get certificate warning from Firefox.
> (ie
> self-signed cert) Documentation doesn't make any comment about this being
> ok
> or not, which may scare some users.
> 1. Minor Typo: evertime -> every time
> Old:
> Your ISP does not provide you a static IP address and your IP address
> changes
> evertime you connect to Internet.
> 2. Guiding user to next action on PageKite page
> There are various tabs on this page:
> - About PageKite
> - Configure PageKite
> - Standard Services
> - Custom Services
> .. as well as the button 'Configure PageKite'. However, clicking any of
> those
> results in the same message being displayed to user: "Install PageKite
> packages" (approx). It would be better perhaps if there was a single
> button to
> install without any other superfluous items. That would guide the user to
> the
> next step.
> 3. Install Shaarli results in hanging UI, no feedback
> Clicked on 'Install' button for Shaarli, and then decided to go click some
> other links. The interface doesn't respond, and appears to be hanging. If
> you
> reload the 'Install' page, you don't get any feedback on what is actually
> happening. Not very good from user experience perspective. Some feedback on
> what is happening would be helpful. It did eventually come back quite a
> while
> later.
> 4. Error when installing Dynamic DNS
> Clicking install resulted in the following error:
> Error installing packages: E: http://httpredir.debian.org sid/main amd64
> Packages is not (yet) available ()
> I then went to terminal and explicitly did a 'apt-get install ez-ipupdate'
> and
> that worked. Purged the package and went back to the interface, and clicked
> 'Install' button again. It worked. Don't know why.
> 5. http://freedombox.local doesn't work after initial setup
> I was able to successfully access the mDNS address for plinth on the first
> attempt when I was required to provide a username & password for main
> login. When I tried to use that address again following that step so that I
> could log in for the first time, I could not reach freedombox.local. I
> worked
> around this by determining IP from CLI and then accessing the web
> interface by
> IP.
> 6. PageKite App activation
> The 'pagekite' app activation page should tell you that you must sign up
> separately for the service. Some people might not realize this.
> It might not be obvious to folks that 'Kite Secret' and "pagekite.net
> password" are not the same thing. Not realizing this resulted in some
> wasted
> time.
> It would be helpful if some information from the logs could be presented in
> order to help the user determine why an error occurred. The pagekite log
> contained information on 'authentication failed' but that was not exposed
> on
> the web page.
> Is it required that you create a sub-kite, or should the root kite work?
> The
> connection only seemed to occur successfully for a sub-kite. Meaning:
> foo.pagekite.me doesn't work, but bar-foo.pagekite.me works.
> 7. Dynamic DNS Activation/Configuration
> Created an account on afraid.org and proceeded to configure Dynamic DNS
> app. The configuration files that were written to /etc/ez-ipupdate/ did not
> seem to have correct data and how to debug this was quite not
> obvious. Admittedly, I didn't dig deep into plinth code for this, but I'm
> not
> sure whether that's what you expect normal users to do.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/freedombox-discuss/attachments/20151031/6505cee7/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Freedombox-discuss mailing list