Looking at Package Management for Karmic or Karmic+1

Mackenzie Morgan macoafi at gmail.com
Wed Apr 1 14:35:54 UTC 2009

On Wednesday 01 April 2009 6:02:38 am John Vivirito wrote:
> On 03/31/2009 06:19 PM, Evan wrote:
> > While apt, synaptic, update-manager, and gnome-app-install all do decent
> > jobs of providing front-ends for package management, there are a few 
> > and common feature requests which bear taking a look at. This is a 
> > so feel free to rip it apart as necessary.
> > 
> > PolicyKit
> > Synaptic runs fully as root. Unless there is a specific reason not to,
> > should it not be migrated to PolicyKit?
> >
> The reason they start up as root is because other than browsing the
> packages is to install/remove and change repo settings. Most people that
> browse packages will install at least one. I guess i don't get the idea.

Until I learned about dpkg -l and apt-cache version, I looked in Synaptic to 
find out version numbers.  Until I learned about apt-cache search, I used 
Synaptic to find out package names to tell people to install.  I'd say browsing 
the packages to avoid those commands or due to ignorance of those commands is 
a normal thing for anyone that doesn't sit around reading dpkg and apt-cache's 
manpages for fun.

> > Modal Dialogues
> > All three of the GUIs currently use modal dialogues for the actual
> > download/install process, and this is considered a usability issue AFAIK
> > (I'm not a usability expert by any stretch of the imagination, please
> > correct me if I'm wrong). I believe most people would like to be able to
> > continue browsing available applications, or reading changelogs of updates
> > while the packages are downloading and installing.
> What do you mean as a usability feature more so than "issue"

You can't run two apt-get commands at the same time, but you can certainly do 
apt-cache commands while an apt-get is running.  This'd be the equivalent.

> > Queuing
> > The ability to start an install process, and then decide to queue another
> > app to install / update after the first is finished.
> > 
> > Parallelism
> > Starting the install process in parallel with the download process as soon
> > as the first packages are finished downloading. (I got this idea from
> > brainstorm, but I can no longer find the relevant idea.)
> By this you mean being able to browse packages while upgrade/install
> packages? Than start download of the packages you choose to upgrade/install?
> I dont remember off hand why we only let one apt/dpkg run at one time
> but it has been that way a long time IIRC.
> IMHO this idea can cause problems, example: It can cause corrupt
> files/links. Now I'm not sure how true this is If this is wrong please
> feel free to comment.

As above...two apt-get's can't run simultaneously, but "apt-get install foo ; 
apt-get install bar" is certainly valid.

Mackenzie Morgan
apt-get moo
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