Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 16th May 2007 22:55 UTC
SuSE, openSUSE The fourth alpha release of OpenSUSE 10.3 has been released. "Inclusion of YaST Meta Packages handler; instLux allows users to start the Linux installation from Windows; we have removed zmd from the distribution and concentrate now on the tools opensuse-updater and zypper; TeX Live replaces teTex; first parts of KDE4svn entered Factory, its games are installed; 2.2; GNOME 2.18.1; improvements to our init script starter startpar to reduce boottime; first changes to support Sony PS3; Linux 2.6.21 with an updated AppArmor patchset."
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Member since:

Personally, YAST was the original reason I flocked to SuSE back in "el dia" when I first started attempting to use Linux. It was the reason I stuck with it until SuSe9.2 (Started at 7.0) By then I had learned the bash/CLI well enough to compile and configure things manually and didn'treally need it anymore.

I still really like YAST and feel that while it works well, it is sometimes too slow to fire up or do its job; especially when doing things like installing packages. If something takes more than 30 seconds, I now find it easier to drop to the command line and do it myself, but I like the luxury and polish of YAST
so much that I always give it the benefit of the doubt and let it have a shot at a task before I dig in under the hood. (That is a luxury you don't readily have in windows!)

That being said, I have a question: I thought they open sourced YAST. That being the case, why has no one picked it up and vanilla-ized it so that other distros can make use of it? I think a few years in the open source community might make it a bit leaner and meaner. Does anyone think a leaner YAST would increase Linux adoption?

Edited 2007-05-17 13:43

Reply Score: 1

Excel Hearts Choi Member since:

Yes, I too think better, more standardized configuration tools would allow for easier migration to linux. I have advocated ideas such as this with respect to package management, and this is the response I got: "Linux is about choice, and the moment you start to standardize you reduce choice, and you take away the very aspect which makes linux what it is."

Obviously, people take the "choice is good" mantra way too far. Like it or not, linux is driven by the commercial distributions. Novell, Red Hat, Mandriva and the like invest a lot of money into linux by employing people to work on Gnome, the kernel, KDE, etc. In trying to make profits, these companies differentiate themselves not only in the services they provide, but in the products that they offer. Because of this, Red Hat wastes time and money in developing Pirut/Pup when there are many other options from which to borrow in the OSS community. There is this perception that one must be different the competition. This is stupid in my opinion, but it explains why the major linux distributions only are willing to borrow and share to a certain extent.

So, to answer your question standardization (to some extent at least) won't happen until people realize that too much choice is bad and that companies stand to gain more when the differentiate themselves based upon quality of servies provided as opposed to software provided.

Reply Parent Score: 2

moleskine Member since:

YaST is a lot faster on 10.2 than it used to be, and I guess 10.3 may speed things further. YaST is not really the creaking behemoth it used to be and OpenSuSE have clearly taken on board the need to quicken it all round.

I'm not a programmer, but I'm wondering whether YaST is tied to SuSE's very particular back-end, and this is why no one really seems interested in adapting it for another distro. All those special SuSE scripts, all the sysconfig and SuSEconfig stuff (see the folders in /etc). Disentangling all this and then bolting the resulting GUI on to another version of Linux could be a Herculean task. Debian, for example, does everything differently and has a very different philosophy when it comes to the organization/content of text configs and where they go in the heirarchy. Even after that, a distro that adopted an open-sourced YaST might find itself being called a Little SuSE in the market's view. Next thing Microsoft knock on the door with a special voucher deal for you haha.

The amount of work in opening YaST and making it universal must be at least as much as writing your typical KDE or Gnome-ish hardware control panels.

For all that, YaST is serious kit by any standards, surely, and SuSE have always seemed well aware of the importance of grooming and growing it.

Reply Parent Score: 2