Re: What do you wish for in an package manager?
Ben Collins writes ...
> You are missing the fact that the old package does not understand that
> the new package possibly setup some things (configuration settings,
> diversions, symlinks, removal of cruft, alternatives) that it cannot
> recover from. You are missing the fact that it is not as simple as
> replacing files.
HP-UX's Software Distributor (SD) package manager(starting with 11.0) supports
the ability to roll back patches. It saves every file that the patch replaces
in a "save" directory, which consumes lots of disk space. When you decide
you're happy with the patch or you need the disk space back, which ever comes
first :) , then you "commit" the patch and it removes the save dir and info in
the package database.
Adam Lazur writes ...
> Relocatable packages so a user can do an individual package install into ~
> without being r00t (this may be possible now with some dpkg foo?).
HP-UX's SD also supports relocatable packages. I think this was originally
done for diskless support. It requires that people writing install scripts
follow strict guidelines to ensure that their packages are indeed relocatable.
Richard Atterer ...
> Just one simple small thing for me, please: An installer that is smart
> enough to realize that it is about to overflow the disc, so it deletes
> any .deb files that have been downloaded and already installed. (This
> bit me once while doing an install over PPP.)
SD looks at packages and determines disk usage in each of the standard file
system partitions that HP-UX ships with to make sure there is enough space to
install. This doesn't handle the case where somebody makes /usr/foo a symlink
to another partition but it does pretty well. You can override the disk space
analysis if you know what you're doing.
In the "Rambling apt-get ideas" thread, Vince Mulhollon writes ...
> Use a apt-get client to remotely mess with another workstations packages.
> Messing with only one workstation at a time is boring. How about multicast
> to configure a hundred workstations instead, all at once? And then have a
> proxying apt-getd server multicast out the .deb files to all the machines
> at the same time?
SD can do this and has ACLs too.
Some other things about SD,
- conforms to (and, IIRC, was used to define) the "IEEE POSIX 1387.2 Software
- has been ported to several commercial UNIX variants as well as MSWindows.
- supports hierarchical packages with Bundle -> Product -> Fileset -> File
levels. For example most packages have Foo-BIN, Foo-MAN, and Foo-DOC, or
Foo-CLIENT, and Foo-SERVER fileset definitions.
SD is pretty nice(as far as closed propriatary software goes), but it is
pretty large and slow relative to dpkg/apt. If some of these features could be
added to dpkg/apt without sacrificing performance/ease-of-use/supportability
then that would be pretty cool.