[Mageia-discuss] Package management system

Richard richard.j.walker at ntlworld.com
Tue Sep 28 21:20:37 CEST 2010

On Tuesday 28 September 2010 19:34:09 Thomas Lottmann wrote:
> > Le mardi 28 septembre 2010 à 20:02 +0200, nicolas vigier a écrit :
> >
> > So, for people who are not happy with the default, do not hesitate to
> > test others packages managers and report issues ( for example, yum does
> > requires specific indexes that we do not provides at mandriva, but we
> > could add them if required, i guess ).
> ...[s]ince then, looking at Smart's GUI, it looks like it has not been
> significantly improved since a long time. Lookign in the package's
> history, the fixes show it is maintained only to prevent it from being
> broken...
>... I know there are several people who are not satisfied with RPMDrake,
> this because they prefer to have a package manager with a different
> philosophy or other kind if conception. I believe Smart could then be
> improved both in text and GUI if people are encouraged to develop and
> work on it. It could offer yet another approach then for package
> management.
> Skiper

I confess to a quite high level of ignorance about package managers, as I have 
only ever known and used rpmdrake in its evolution since around 2000, but you 
have both said things to make me think that some of the frustrations I have 
experienced since 2008 Spring may be due to controllable features of the 
package manager.

The simplest analysis tells us that rpmdrake does its job admirably; point, 
click and presto, your software is installed (OK, you may have to click a 
couple more times to agree to the selected packages list).

How much better could it possibly do this? What am I missing? You have both 
mentioned alternatives, some of which I know by name, but in what way do apt, 
yum or smart do this job any better?

I realise that package managers are needed because humans have to add some 
intelligence in the form of what libraries are needed to get a program to 
run. I also know that sometimes humans get this badly wrong (try removing a 
library that you know will never be used and ask yourself why rpmdrake wants 
to remove over 200 packages with it!). Do other package managers manage to 
avoid this embarassing and frustrating behaviour? or is it that it is just 
easier to get it right with package types other than rpm?


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