Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 14th Sep 2002 22:44 UTC
SuSE, openSUSE From SuSE Linux 8.1 on, YaST2 comes with a new, powerful package manager. It supersedes the classic YaST2 single package selection and integrates the YaST Online Update (YOU) and post-installation add-on selection at the same time. It lays the foundation for supporting multiple installation sources like a traditional set of SuSE CDs, add-on product CDs, patch CDs, FTP servers or even local directories - all of which may contain software packages to install. Specially optimized versions were implemented for both graphical user interface (the YaST2 Qt UI) or text interface (the YaST2 NCurses UI), providing each type of user with the tool that best fits his needs. Read more for the commentary.
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SuSE != Linux
by Xirzon on Sun 15th Sep 2002 00:47 UTC

There should be no conflicts. If there are, these should only happen in very few cases and they should be easily resolved. That would be a good OS design.

I agree -- Debian has already managed to reach this point. (Of course if you use unstable, there may be conflicts - duh!) SuSE is getting there slowly. I think it bodes well for free software that a non-commercial project outpaces a for profit company.

Windows has chosen the easy path to use mostly statically linked apps (a huge waste of bandwidth). There were also no problems defining a set of standard libraries -- if you have a monopoly it's easier to set such standards. I think it's unfair to compare the competitive Linux market with the uncompetitive Windows (or Mac OS) market.

I truly not think that this manager serves the power users/admins either. The UI itself is a disaster, no matter if you are a power user or not.

Heh, I think you underestimate power users. Power users do know, for example, what a context menu is, whereas the average user does not. One of your complaints about YaST2 is that it does not explain the package indicators -- it does so in the context menu, which is completely sufficient for power users. (And yes, I know from experience that average users never click context menus ..)

The conflict resolution UI is a bit unusual, but it has positive aspects -- it aims to make the primary choices quickly available by hiding long package lists, for example.
It's a step forward because, if I remember correctly, before this version of YaST SuSE did not have a conflict resolution UI at all ..

MacOSX and WinNT/2k are also server OSes, and they don't need this kind of package management. Therefore, something else is wrong. Not the package manager itself. But the root of it.

Installation of Windows apps is, however, far from being easy. Even though again dominance of a single company (InstallShield) has simplified things for the end user, there are still many different installers, with many different options. And it took MS years to solve the issues with library conflicts -- I've seen more than one system screwed up by a wrong ctl3d.dll or whatever. I would not recommend a switch to statically linked binaries either -- I do like my downloads and my harddisk redundancy free. As I said, Debian has found the right balance, it's only a matter of time until others follow its model, or they will simply die. Linux != SuSE. If and when this happens, Linux packagement will be the best in the world.

BTW, have you taken a look at Red Hat's up2date? I would be very interested in reading a review of that.