Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3893 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] SUSE repository
  • From: Pascal Bleser <pascal.bleser@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2007 13:01:48 +0100
  • Message-id: <459B9B2C.5080009@xxxxxxxxx>
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jdd wrote:
> Pascal Bleser wrote:
>
>> Ok, let me summarize: you just said you have no clue about ZMD nor zypp
>> nor smart nor other package managers. Nor did you ever had to help those
>> people who were about to ditch SUSE because the package manager sucked
>> so bad on 10.1.
>>
>> Thanks for your enlightened, qualified opinion.
>
> you won't ever have a good discussion with this attitude. mileage will
> vary and you won't see any significant percentage of suse user on IRC.
> the suse base is millions of users, not a handful.

I do think that what we see on IRC is at least a rather good probe of
SUSE users. It varies from very experienced to first day with Linux.

> and I used almost all the major Linux distributions, so, yes, I know
> about package managers. I simply don't want to use any non default as
> long as the official suse one works.

That's fine, but it should work properly in the first place.

> what I don't mind (on a user point of view) is the one that works under
> YaST. This, for me, only means that it can be zypp, zen, smart, apt,
> yum... I don't care. Of course if we have the choice of what package
> must be under yast, I will try all the candidates and if smart is as
> good as you say (and I have no reason not to believe you) I will vote
> for it, but in the mean time I stay with YaST.

Do whatever you want. You were the one criticizing the smart
recommendation for 10.1, not me.

> What you say is that zen is a dead end. May be you are right, I have no
> sufficient knowledge to juge that, but it seems the very good programmer
> (you said so) of Novell said differently? If it's true one day or an
> other Novell will be obliged to change this or fix this, and you are
> perfectly right to work on this direction.

I wonder what very good programmer of Novell said differently.
And I never said "very good programmer".
IMO they just had to hack it into SUSE Linux in some way or another for
marketing/management decision reasons and especially because SUSE 10.1
is the base for SLED/SLES 10. So, management wanted ZMD in SLED/SLES 10
and it had to be hacked into SUSE Linux, no matter if it makes sense or
not. In this case, we really played lab rats for SLED/SLES.
That's fine, as long as it makes sense on a technical point of view and
especially, if it works.

> however, as a long (nearly ten years) SuSE user, after testing,
> sometimes for years, the other distribution (I have several computers at
> home, not all with SuSE), I don't notice that YaST package manager is
> worst than the other distributions one.
> some are faster but happen to broke my system (apt), some are slow as
> YaST (mandrake), some are _very slow_ (gentoo)

apt is very fast, both to start up, to resolve dependencies and to
process the metadata. Other package managers are noticeably slower.
This is most probably related to the repository metadata format.
But I'm not sure we'd want to get away from RPM-MD. It has drawbacks
(gzipped but XML, so it's rather bloated, large to download, and not
necessarily faster to process than some TLV format) but it is more or
less of a standard.
Yet, indeed, apt is not biarch-capable and is said to sometimes do the
wrong thing (never witnessed it myself, but it seems it does happen).

Gentoo's emerge isn't really a package manager as you end up building
lots of stuff from source, it's more of a port manager like *BSD systems
have.

yum has its own share of issues but has a few interesting features, like
a simple configuration scheme for repositories and the capability of
fetching a list of mirrors from a remote location.

yast2/zypp/zmd has no mirror management. But my gripes are rather with
the fact that it's pretty dumb. Granted, smart sometimes tries to be too
smart and never prompts the user on what it should do, but the perfect
package manager should be somewhere in-between IMO.
Not as dumb as yast2 but not necessarily as smart as... smart.

YaST2 now also lacks a good CLI frontend, although we might have
something usable with zypper at some point (not yet though).

And whatever this implicit "locking" thing in yast2 is, get rid of it,
it only makes problems.

> I'm used to see that any advantage have it's own drawbacks, if not
> anybody could use the same. in the end the ultimate solution is always
> compiling

Everybody not using the same is more of a political than a technical
decision.

"Any advantage has its own drawbacks" -- not really. From a technical
point of view, there are better implementations and there are worse.

> and don't forget I also work on other lists and see there many
> apt/debian/Unbuntu or mandriva users, all with they own package problems.

Certainly. But if you forget biarch support, apt/synaptic on Debian and
Ubuntu have a lot of advantages compared to yast2. Faster on startup and
to install packages, good CLI, simple GUI.
yast2/zypp is probably more "solid" but that also comes from the fact
that it is rather dumb and turns down almost every decision it has to
make on the end-user.

But to come back to the original topic, the biggest issue with YaST2 on
10.1 and 10.2 is the ZMD backend. It has no advantage, uses large
amounts of resources, fails with mysterious error messages in its logs,
misbehaves as a process, etc...
If we can get to the point where zypp is the default backend in YaST2,
we're at least back to where we were on SUSE 10.0: not necessarily the
best, but a decent and properly working package management module in YaST2.

cheers
- --
-o) Pascal Bleser http://linux01.gwdg.de/~pbleser/
/\\ <pascal.bleser@xxxxxxxxx> <guru@xxxxxxxxxxx>
_\_v The more things change, the more they stay insane.
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