Dapper -- Size of upgrade

Michael V. De Palatis depalatis at gmail.com
Wed Apr 26 00:46:12 BST 2006


First off, I apologize if this is the wrong list to send this to; if
that is the case, please direct me to the proper list and the
discussion can continue there. Now to the matter at hand...

This morning, I finally initiated the dist-upgrade to Dapper on my
laptop. I began downloading the over 1000 packages at approximately
8:45 a.m. When I got home to eat dinner at 5:30 p.m. or so, it was
JUST beginning to actually install the upgrades. Note that this is on
a high speed connection, too, and as far as I can tell, there were no
significant outages in my absence.

While I certainly have a lot of "extra" packages installed, this huge
download requirement seems somewhat excessive. Certainly it's a bit
late to implement anything for Dapper (or perhaps even for Edgy), but
perhaps a new dist-upgrade paradigm could be introduced, which I
describe as follows:

1. There are several dist-upgrade options: Full (literally upgrades
everything that has an upgrade available), Essential (things that
*absolutely* need to be upgraded for the new version), and perhaps
some medium level?

2. The upgrade manager evaluates these 2 (3?) options, and based on
quick network tests, approximates the download time required to
perform the upgrades.

3. Armed with an estimate, the user can choose which upgrade he wants.
If he only wants to get the essential packages now, and can handle
downloading other upgrades later so as to spread out the bandwidth, he
can do this.

I particularly think something such as this could be beneficial for
those who have bandwidth restrictions. At my university, access to the
public network on the highest level is restricted to 500 MB per week
(it used to be 1 GB, but they reduced it... But I digress). This poses
a problem when every package one has needs to be upgraded, especially
if they only have high speed access on campus, say.

Quite honestly, I'm not really even sure about the viability of this.
After all, an Ubuntu user can always get a free CD mailed to him and
can perform (most) of the upgrades from that. But this may involve
even more delays than desired.

So while a multi-tiered dist-upgrade may or may not be feasible in the
long run, I think it would be well worth the consideration.

Please let me know your thoughts on this.



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