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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You ask too much at the moment
by toby on Sun 15th Sep 2002 01:13 UTC

I'd rather have a package manager that can deal with the conflicts when they come than one that can't, even if the latter does come with a pat on the head and a promise from the developers that everything will be okay.

Over and over you (wrongly) compare Linux to Windows and OS X. Both of those OS's have the luxury of putting out whatever they like and having the application developers fall in line behind it. Sometimes it may take a year or two and some marketing dollars, but it always happens.

Linux distros, on the other hand, are at the mercy of the nice people who are willing to write applications because it makes them feel good or they think it's fun. People who might decide to use the latest CVS snapshot of a certain library because it makes their job easier rather than the stable version that the distros painstakingly chose because it was the most compatible with everything else they had for that five second or so window when the CD went gold. A version which, no doubt, differs from every other distro on the planet.

Windows Update and whatever mechanism OS X may be using (last I checked it was just downloadable update packages) just update what Microsoft and Apple have tight control over, they don't even TRY to keep up with all the possible third party applications and libraries. Microsoft lately has been nice enough to distribute driver upgrades via Windows Update, but they are submitted to Microsoft's by the hardware manufacturers after THEY'VE ensured compatibility with the system.

Windows Update is a pretty neat thing that works decently, but what it does is miniscule compared to what is needed to maintain an updated Linux system.

This isn't a jab at Linux, either. I'm typing this on a laptop running Gentoo that's pretty much completely up to date, but still only reboots when *I* want to. That said, there are still conflicts I have to work out. I'm OKAY with that.

Maybe someday there will be an effort to make what you're asking for possible, but it'd take a critical mass of people who develop software for Linux agreeing on it at the same time. RedHat doesn't have the power to do it by themselves, so you bet your ass SuSE can't. In the meantime I'll be happy with any system that makes a best effort to handle any problems, but helps me do so when it can't. That sounds like what SuSE is trying to do.