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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by null_pointer_us on Sun 15th Sep 2002 21:26 UTC

We are talking about Joe User, Joe User uses win9X, so i talk about that.

You want to compare an outdated Windows OS to a new Linux OS?

Linux just has it a little differently: lib*.so hell. The only thing better about Linux is, you can have seperate libs in the same dir, and different programs can use their own libs, but now there is twice the disk space taken up.

In all versions of Windows since (3.1?) each application can have its own copy of a particular DLL. Windows XP allows multiple versions of the same DLL to be stored in the system folder.

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.

That actually happens to you? I find it hard to believe that anyone would be so stupid as to write software that requires an *exact* version of a *system-wide* DLL. Luckily Windows XP handles these programmer errors automatically.

You see, Windows avoids the dependency problem by throwing up its hands and saying, "Not our problem!"

Yes, older versions of Windows complain when programmers are so dense that they try to force the entire system to use one specific version of a DLL. Intelligent developers know how to place such DLL's in the application's folder.

And in many circumstances, the only resolution to the conflict is to choose, as the user, which program you want to have working.

Yes, that is unfortunate. :-(

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.)

The Windows Installer software is quite flexible, but not enough people use it. It allows users to add and remove features while the application is running. Office 2000/XP can do this - try opening an office file type that is not installed, and the Office app's will bring up a dialog asking for the install media. :-)

For the next major version of Windows (Longhorn?), Microsoft should make the old software installation API's completely incompatible and force everyone to use the Windows Installer - but make it freely available. The problem is that there are just too many third party setup programs out there, and they do not all behave very well. End users should not suffer because of this; installing/removing/configuring software ought to be an integrated component in the operating system.

Package management is not an easy thing to do. It wasn't then, it isn't now. Why? Because package management remembers that YOU are in control of YOUR machine, not Microsoft, Apple, Eugenia, RedHat or even Debian Project. And it's WAY easier to be a brain-dead and hand over your machine to somebody.

Just because Linux *allows* you that level of complexity does not necessarily mean that Linux distributions that are trying to be user-friendly should *dump* all that complexity in the user's lap. YAST2's new package manager looks like it would be nice for hackers and the SuSe team, but there needs to be a simpler package manager for SuSe users. I believe that is Eugenia's point.

Taking a look at Win2000 machine 2 meters behind me. Oh, system32 is 580MB large, in task manager there is process called wSYOfQmF. What the hell it is and where it is coming from? No idea. But i suspect it is responsible for that IE windows popping up occsasionally with some casino ads. I'd bet that the software it came with packed as free bonus is long gone. Winnt dir is 1250MB.

That depends on what third-party software you install.

One more thing: The start menu is almost unusable. Which idiot came with idea to sort by supplier? I'd like to have all html editors in one folder. "What? You must be crazy... that is very hard to use and could confuse Joe User seriously".

I agree. And there are a lot more improvements to be made with the Start Menu...but this is getting off topic.

Still, there is no cruft on my box. There are old configs laying, but i could easily purge them if i wanted to. No problem. And they are registered as such, at least. I don't speak about apt-get install/upgrade/dist- upgrade, others did.

Why would the average user care about this?

But i'd like to point out nice tool: aptitude. It is about 10 times easier to use than average setup.exe ;) .

I have not used aptitude, but it would be pretty hard to improve on the average Windows setup program. Click next a few times and then finish, and presto! The app is installed. It even makes its own menu entries. ;-)

-- Setup.exe install procedure:

That has nothing to do with setup.exe or the Windows operating system. If finding software is a problem, then that is the fault of the third party manufacturer and the web sites you are using to find software.