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Re: comps discussion at fudcon and the future

On Wed, 2009-01-14 at 23:15 +0100, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> 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.

maybe so, maybe not.

> > - 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.

When did you become a yum user? :)

> I don't want packages to be magically added just because they're in some group.

That's the point of the groups - of them being transitioned to metapkgs
- so we no longer have the ambiguity. It's like watching a bad episode
of moonlighting "will they? Won't they?".

> 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.)

New stuff showing up in the repo is completely unrelated to the groups.

> 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).

and groups are worse black magic - if only b/c they have this way of
rebounding on the people who do understand them. :-/

> 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.

Which is why we can do groups of groups and more precisely break them
down into smaller sections. so you install what you need, not the whole

> 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).

I suspect most users never know what comps is and they do all their
discovery by doing:
yum search someword
yum list somepkgnametheyknow

> 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.

Really? Who is making the plans for soft deps. Doesn't seem like it at
the rpm layer.


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