Hi sw managers :O)
As zypper matures, it starts to be used by various tools and front-ends.
As a fresh example, Thomas Goettlicher and Joerg Kress recently started
to use zypper for actually doing the updates in the OpenSUSE Updaters
instead of only checking for the available updates.
Thomas started to use the --terse option (not implemented at the time)
to switch zypper to write the output in XML and consume it by the
updater applet to get the list of available updates, to get progress of
operation, messages, etc. But not all output was implemented in XML so
far, and it is often mixed with normal output.
To further enable and ease the adoption of zypper for this kind of use,
more work on its output needs to be done:
- the output needs to be switchable from user-readable to
machine-readable output or quite output.
- the machine-readable output must be well defined and documented
- these two types of output must not ever be mixed. Either a machine
reads it, or a human (well... hm.. :O)
- further fix/document/extend the program exit codes
- anything else?
I think XML is well-suited for the machine-readable output and we should
continue using it here. Current tag/attribute set will need to be
extended and documented, a DTD will be needed.
The --terse option was inherited from rug, but not implemented until
Thomas made use of it. I don't know much about how it worked (or works)
in rug, though, but i'm sure it did not write XML. I suggest to start
using --xml or --xmlout global option instead of --terse in the future.
The --terse option can probably be dropped (but left available for the
rug compatibility mode and implemented in rug's way).
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