This is a lovely page, easy to use and enticing any potential Windows/Linux user to download and install ReactOS on their hardware. It looks so professional that on first sight it gives the impression that ReactOS is a working OS. Working as in stable and usable.
That page does not anywhere make clear the current progress of ReactOS development, that it is in fact, only in Alpha stage and should never be used on real 'production' hardware. It does not make it clear that it is essential that ReactOS should only be used within a virtual machine or on less important test hardware.
This leads potential users to early disappointment, instant disillusion, annoyance and potential damage to their hardware/software...
It is perfectly normal these days for untechnical users just to download and install without reading any instructions. The proliferation of 'apps' and tablets has done nothing to improve this situation. Users will just install and find out that their partition is feckled forever... We can't accuse them of being stupid when we have made very little effort to tell them the current state of ReactOS.
It is ESSENTIAL that we change that download page.
The page MUST state the current usability of ReactOS and contain warnings of the sort:
The page must have a link to an installation guide. It currently states "What now?! If you don't know what to do with the downloaded file..." and provides a button. This is lovely and chummy and very user-friendly but it fails to convey a level of importance that the installation notes should inherit. Its chummy tone gives the impression that this is entirely an optional procedure that does not really need to be followed.Warning: Please bear in mind that ReactOS is still in alpha stage, meaning it is not stable or feature-complete and is not recommended for everyday use. Operating system bugs can and do result in corrupted file systems, overwritten partitions, and more. Do not install ReactOS on any computer containing important data without using a virtual machine or making full backups first.
Words such as "INSTALLATION GUIDE >>> ESSENTIAL <<<" convey the importance of understanding the installation process, they are easy to understand with no ambiguity. If we place such text on the download page we cannot be accused of misleading people. Currently we could be accused of misleading potential users into thinking they can install ReactOS onto a daily-use machine.
The new website is very good, very professional, in this case it is too slick, too easy. We need to have a big HALT image to let people know they install ReactOS at their own risk. We might even add such a message on the installation too.
Forum chaps, please back me up on this, too often we receive pleas from users that don't know what they are doing, have read nothing, know nothing at all - those who have just gone ahead and run ReactOS have found that ReactOS does not work or has damaged their partition. It is time to help these poor users avoid getting into this state.