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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Distro makers
by Xirzon on Sun 15th Sep 2002 01:14 UTC

Rob,

install an app under Debian:

1) open installer front-end of your choice
2) choose app
3) app is downloaded and installed
4) run app (app is automatically added to app menu for all desktops / window managers).

I don't think it gets any simpler than that. Mandrake's urpmi should basically work the same way, but I haven't tested it.

I agree that distro makers have constant problems justifying their existence and compete instead of cooperating. The end user will not accept this in the long run, though. Lindows and Xandros are Debian-based for a good reason. But both have flawed business models (subscription pricing is unnecessary if you can get the stuff for free from Debian's servers, proprietary software a la Xandros is what we want to get away from). The trend clearly goes towards apt-style installation systems. As for business models, users are clearly willing to pay for open source software (cf. Blender) if properly motivated.

How will distro makers set each other apart if they can agree on astandard? There are plenty of other "unique selling propositions":

- installation procedure

- hardware detection and true plug & play

- configuration tools and standard software-installer

- desktop theme and setup

- online community and support

- ...

It will still take a while until we have a packaging standard though, and new players like Sun and HP will only further fragment the market.