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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Because if she did, she'd realize that her claim (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.) is pretty ridiculous. (And no, Xirzon, Debian has not reached that point.) On any system, even Windows-based systems, there are alternatives for any particular role. Especially when you're dealing with IP-based services, where only one service implementation can listen on a particular port at a particular time.

For example, postfix, exim, sendmail, etc. must all conflict with each other, if for no other reason than they can't all bind to port 25 at once. Conflicts are a natural result of having choices. And alternatives are one of the cornerstones of free and open source software. I, for one, pray that never changes.

And before you jump in and claim that Windows doesn't have any such problems, allow me to save you the embarassment. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've installed Windows software and been prompted with multiple dialog boxes notifying me of DLL conflicts. You see, Windows avoids the dependency problem by throwing up its hands and saying, "Not our problem!" As a result, Windows software must supply all its own dependencies, often resulting in conflicts. And in many circumstances, the only resolution to the conflict is to choose, as the user, which program you want to have working.

Lest you accuse me of being yet another person who is bitter and angry over you dissing my favorite distro, I should point out that I despise SuSE. As in hate it with a passion. Can't stand it. Will never use it under any circumstances. So you're more than welcome to rag on SuSE all you'd like.

In future, though, you should try to be correct while doing so. Judging (as you did) solely from the screenshots, that looks like one of the best GUI package managers I've seen. The "average user" you claim to write so much about should simply install everything on the install CD and leave their system alone. This is the approach Windows uses if you think about it. (Of course, if you recall, the Windows installer allows you to turn on/off various capabilities, and does handle dependencies...but only at install time.)

Most Windows users install their OS and their office suite (or buy them pre-installed on their PC) and never touch it again until they have to upgrade/re-install. Linux users who do likewise will have similar experiences (except they won't have to reinstall nearly as soon). SuSE's tool is trying to solve a very different problem...thus invalidating your review. Oh, wait, sorry...editorial.

Normal users don't need such a program, and for power users who don't like the command line or need a broader view, this program looks excellent.