[Mageia-discuss] Easyurpmi forMageia ?

Michael scherer misc at zarb.org
Sun May 22 01:56:41 CEST 2011

On Sat, May 21, 2011 at 04:59:43PM -0500, Dale Huckeby wrote:
> On Sat, 21 May 2011, Ahmad Samir wrote:
> >On 21 May 2011 21:46, Renaud (Ron) Olgiati
> ><renaud at olgiati-in-paraguay.org> wrote:
> >>Will there be some such thing in place when Mageia is finally launched ?
> >>
> >
> >No, simply because there's no need for a tool like that; easyurpmi was
> >mainly used by Mandriva users to add the PLF repos, in Mageia PLF is
> >replaced by the Tainted repo, which is added (but disabled) by
> >default.
> Simply no need? Maybe I'm misreading you or missing something but this comes
> across as really arrogant in presuming what others (not you!) do or don't need,
> and how and why people have "mainly" used easyurpmi in the past. How do you
> know? Was there a poll that I didn't get included in? I've always found
> easyurpmi very convenient and not just for plf. I guess I didn't realize how
> atypical I was.

Easyurpmi, as I said in the past, suffer from various problems :

- it is centralized. It is where people fighted to get included or not. Every 
group in the past forked ( some without any attribution ) the software to be 
listed as repository for their version, because the original maintainer refused
to list every possible variations of every random rpm repositories. Despites having wrote
docs on .urpmi-media file on the wiki, people prefered to reuse easyurpmi out of 
some form of cargo culting ( until easyurpmi decided to adopt the system ).

This caused some frictions in the community, and some divisions due to X instances of the software.

- the code could have been much better. Olivier wrote it and he was not a php coder, and
neither is Phillipe, the current maintainer. I think that the translation system is
primitive and prone to problem. No one seemed to be motivated to rewrite, despites
people fixing various problem.

- the core of the system was still "here is a website that a new user cannot find by 
itself, that will give command that he doesn't understand, and that he need to type as root,
after asking question that didn't made much sense for him". That's bad on many levels :
 - difficult to find for a new user.
 - asking to type command as root first, and later "click on a link in your browser and type after your
admin password", which is IMHO quite bad from giving wrong habits to people.
 - asking lots of questions, ( fixed later by using a simplified mode, that use rpmdrake or 
that fail silently )

There is also some issue like "it requires a web browser" ( which is highly problematic when you 
are in a datacenter, setting up a server ). And "it doesn't use ssl" ( which is rather bad for a site that give you
basically software sources ). This one could be fixed, but that's quite curious that no one 
thought of it before. Maybe people do not care about security, and about the content of a file that end
to be read by a software running as root.

The discoverability issues still exist and could not be fixed because of the nature of PLF/Mandriva.
The bad habits given to users is a direct consequence of the way it work. The power struggle
part too is inherent to the system, and this would become worst if there is a official instance 
on Mageia servers.

Since the discoverability issue should be fixed by simply having tainted disabled by default and maybe
some popup whatever to enable it, I see no reason to suffer from the others problems (
bad habits, power struggle ). People can install a clone of easyurpmi if they want, but I will 
oppose on having it on our servers, on having anything like this labelled as official, and 
would recommend to people to not deploy it.

Michael Scherer

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