[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]

Re: Some ideas/questions about yum

Hi again,

On ۰۹/۰۸/۲۸  04:50, Seth Vidal wrote:

On Fri, 28 Aug 2009, Hedayat Vatnakhah wrote:

Hi all,
Currently, Fedora package management is one of the most annoying part
of Fedora experience for new desktop users (at least for those
without fast, always available internet connection). For such users,
Fedora package management "Just Doesn't Work"! I've almost never been
able to demonstrate using fedora package management tools for a fresh
Fedora install without the need to use command line, editing yum
configuration file(s), killing current running yum/package kit
instance(s), installing some small rpm packages using rpm command
instead of using yum or graphically, etc. And sometimes, I found it
better to download yum metadata using another application and copying
the downloaded file to yum cache; or even completely skip yum and use
rpm and manually resolve dependencies when they are not too much!

Have you filed bugs on any of these issues or are they strictly due to
unreliable network connections?
I've reported bugs for some of them (e.g. the bug you know about resuming downloding metadata files), I'll report some more, and some of them happened on systems of some users and I wasn't able to investigate them to file useful reports for them.
And yes, many of them happen with poor (or no) network connection only.

First, I've some suggestions/requests which doesn't seem to need much
work, and then some ideas which I'd like to know your opinions about.
1. Since Fedora 4, Fedora doesn't support installing software from
DVD "out of the box". Fedora 8 is an exception here. Currently, it
seems that the work is almost done (99% completed as in [1]), and
fixing the remaining 1% doesn't seem to need much work but
unfortunately it seems that it is stopped. I think requesting a small
collaboration between the feature owner, PolicyKit and/or GIO people
is not too much.

Alsadi has done a great deal of work to make this happen and I believe
it is likely it will go in for F13.
I hope that happens.

2. Maybe yum could be a bit more forgiving about inaccessible
repositories when running. Consider this case: a new offline user
installs Fedora, and then runs "Add/Remove Software". Currently, if
he clicks on "all packages", he'll see an error message that yum is
unable to contact fedora repository. I think it is better to show a
warning to user about being unable to contact online repositories and
then show all installed packages + the packages from all accessible
repositories. IMHO it is much more reasonable than expecting the user
to disable all such repositories in such cases (yum/packagekit can be
a bit more intelligent and do it itslef).

Disabling repos which are unavailable/inaccessible is a pretty
dangerous behavior. If you're doing a 'yum install foo' and the only
'foo' you have access to is insecure - but a secure 'foo' is in the
updates dir - it would be better for you to not install 'foo' at all
than install a bad one.
And this is why the warning should be shown! The warning message could state that there might be security concerns too. But what if the user just wants to remove a package (maybe a separate section called "installed packages" in PackageKit will do the job in this case) or he just wants to install a package from a local repository (DVD) or rpmfusion?! I think the current frustration for the end user is not better than what you mentioned.

Now, some ideas:
3. AFAIK, currently yum's primary database file contains information
about packages, and all of the files in directories such as /usr/bin
and /usr/lib, so that it can resolve package and file level
dependencies. Isn't it possible to move file level information
outside primary db (e.g. to primary_file_deps.db) and translate
internal dependencies from file level dependencies to package level
dependencies when creating repositories? (So that provides and
requires tables in primary db only contain package references rather
than file references?). It might be even possible to do it for
dependencies outside repository; for example when creating updates
repository, you can introduce fedora repository to createrepo, so it
can translate all of the file level dependencies of updates packages

Except none of this will work for dependencies for 3rd party repos at
all. Nor will it adequately handle any of the cases where we have
multiple pkgs which provide the same file.
For the first case, it'll work. Yum will download the file I mentioned (primary_file_deps.db) when it needs to resolve file dependencies. I do not know what do you do now about the latter case and what is that at all, so I'll be silent here!

4. Even if the above solution is possible and can reduce the size of
primary db, it won't solve the main problem: for large repositories,
you'll need to download large database files. You'll need to download
extra database files on some use cases anyway. So, it can be said
that currently yum doesn't scale well.

no - it can be said that yum if you have a lot of pkgs you have a lot
of metadata. That's not a function of yum scaling that's a function of
network connectivity.
OK, maybe I use bad wording. Yes, as the number of package grow, the experience become undesirable because of larger metadata. It's so annoying to be forced to download 10Mb for installing a 200K package specially somewhere like a dial-up connection!

What do you think about it: we can implement parts of yum at the
server side (e.g. a web service), and do queries online. The client
can submit queries to online repositories, aggregate the results
(+using local repositories by itself) and do appropriate actions. It
can also store received data to be used when offline or while they
are valid. It'll be completely backward compatible with the current
clients: those who use the old method can download repositories
themselves, like what they do now.
It is possible to think about further details and design it
completely, but I want to know about your opinions about the whole idea.

That's what up2date and rhn did in rhl6->rhel3. There are multiple

1. we need a single web service that many systems would access to
query for depsolving If you want to talk about things NOT scaling....
Yes, you might be true. But is requesting some information such as: "What does foo provide?" or "Who provides bar?" more expensive than serving a 10M file?! Or searching for one word in package names/descriptions is much more problematic than searching a word in Fedora wiki? (BTW, the GUI should provide separate facilities for querying package names (yum list) and searching in package summary/description (yum search)).
Specially that all/most mirrors provide this service, not just one system.
Also, depsolving could be done by the client, but it'll download only the data it needs and not lots of extra data.

2. it would mean anyone wanting to do a respin couldn't just setup a
website or an ftp mirror or a file:/// repo - they'd have to setup a
web service and populate it. That's some pretty serious overhead.
Oh, no! First, the word web service was just an example, and the first word which came in my mind. This could be done using XML/RPC, a single php/python/... file can provide that service AFAIK. Doesn't need anything but copying a single file. Also, I didn't propose to drop support for local repositories (file://) or the current type of repositories. That service will be an add-on to the current system. Also, I clearly stated: "+using local repositories by itself". So, I don't see any problem here.

3. 3rd party repos would have to go through a whole other level of
hoop jumping.
Yum would fall back to the old method if the repository doesn't provide the service (or it might be configured explicitly to use that). Also, all what 3rd party repositories will need to do is to add the single file (or some files!) I mentioned earlier.

Now, I don't think anyone is opposed to seeing some of these things
but given what you've said on the yum-devel mailing list (where much
of this discussion should be anyway) you don't seem to be interested
in actually working on it or have the time. Did that change?
Oops, sorry! Maybe it is because of my poor English (sorry for that). I am certainly interested in actually working on yum; but I mentioned that I do not have much free time and I'll be slow. So, I am interested, and I'm planning to put some time on it, but I'll be slow. If I find that this idea will work, I'll certainly start working on it. And this is exactly why I asked this question here, since I know that there are many people here that know a lot about such things and can let me know about the issues.

Thanks for the answer,


[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]