[lsb-discuss] Thinking about future LSB features

Theodore Tso tytso at mit.edu
Wed Feb 25 07:53:03 PST 2009

On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 08:21:22AM -0700, Wichmann, Mats D wrote:
> I think we ought to watch PackageKit carefully, as it looks like
> it will provide *some* of what we've been asked about.  At the
> moment the PackageKit API is not stable (the authors say so: there's
> no promise of complete API stability until 1.0.0), and in an informal
> discussion on irc the other day it was noted it's not well accepted
> in the debian variants, not least because it follows the rpm
> design philosophy of allowing zero interaction during the install
> process.

I actually happen to agree with that no-questions-at-install-time
philosophy, but I wonder how strong of an issue it really is in
practice, especially when the most common use of Packagekit is likely
going to be an application which is interested in installing a plugin,
or codec, or font. 

> There's a lot of resistance within Ubuntu, it looks like -
> I'm reading stuff where Ubuntu people consider the PackageKit UI
> really horrible...

UI's can be fixed, or customized; though.  And mabe part of the
problem is that the backend support for dpkg isn't as good as it ought
to be (but that requires the developers from the Debian derivitives to
become more involved).  Heck, even the UI issue can be solved by
having a dialog box pop up so that the user can answer the package's
questions three --- and if the user is annoyed by the package stopping
and asking for the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow, well,
that's the fault of the package, not of PackageKit.  :-)

In any case, these aren't things we can settle, but we can encourage
people to work together on whichever projects has the most momentum,
which at the moment seems to be PackageKit.  Hopefully the Debian
variants will also participate and help make PackageKit better for
Debian's design points.

						- Ted

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