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Re: comps discussion at fudcon and the future



seth vidal wrote:
> - conditional pkgs (which provide a way of saying "install pkgX only
>   if pkgY is installed) are several colors of doom b/c they aren't a
>   dependency relationship and creates clutter on systems.

But they're actually needed. We wouldn't have them if they weren't.

> - users expect groups to be more persistent on their systems and to act
>   more like pkgs (ie: yum update should update groups, too)

What users? Surely not me. I don't want packages to be magically added just
because they're in some group.

What I do want is be told of any new packages showing up in the repository.
All of them. No matter what groups, if any, they're in. Then I can decide
if I want them (by default none should be selected, of course). And viewing
that list is probably something which should have to be requested
explicitly, as I think most users will want to only install additional
stuff when they actually need it. (Installing a package to try it out
because it's new is something I do, but not something I'd expect somebody
who only uses the computer as a tool to do their job to do.)

I can't believe I'm alone with that expectation. I actually think there will
be lots of complaints about unwanted packages getting automatically added
(for a reason most users won't understand - metapackages are black magic as
far as they're concerned).

> - optional/default/mandatory pkgs are confusing and not useful to most
>   people - the types are only useful when browsing, not when installing.

They're actually extremely useful when installing, as you can decide what to
install. People may often want, say, KDE or GNOME, but not every single
application (or application pack) which is part of KDE or GNOME. (That's
why there's a distinction between "mandatory" (e.g. if you want KDE, you
definitely want kdelibs) and "default" (i.e. you probably want this, but
maybe not).) In addition, there are many KDE or GNOME applications which
are not directly part of KDE or GNOME. "Optional" provides a nice place to
list those.

While admittedly I haven't done any user research, I'd expect most users to
go through the comps list at least once, either while installing from the
DVD or after installing from a live CD (and noticing missing applications,
which are unavoidable for CD-sized spins).

In addition, there are plans to add soft dependencies even at package level,
which shows there is a demand for them, so IMHO dropping them from comps is
a step backwards.

        Kevin Kofler


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