PackageKit cleanup: Do you use these functions?
(This is just a quick heads-up for the PackageKit-using people in
Debian, so if you don't use PK, you can skip this mail.)
We are currently cleaning up PackageKit upstream, which means some
functionality will soon no longer be available anymore.
Short-term (= with one of the next uploads to Debian), I will remove
the Smart backend from Debian, to use PackageKit with the Smart
package-manager. This backend has also been removed upstream.
So if you use/want to use PK with that backend, act now and implement
the necessary bits upstream! The backend is currently broken in
Debian, and carrying it around does not make much sense.
The other long-term removed features include:
* Transaction hooks (scripts to run after and before Pk transactions)
* Support for plugins
* .desktop file database and package-list caches
* maybe the debug-info installer as well, although that's in discussion
So, if you use one of these things, it would be good to think about a
replacement, or give feedback upstream to keep these features.
Depending on the state of PackageKit's reverse dependencies and other
factors (use of the features described above by users), I will include
the next release of PackageKit (1.0) which has the cleanup done in
Jessie or not (currently, keeping 0.9.x seems more likely)
PackageKit also has support for systemd-based offline-updates for a
while now, which downloads updates while the system is running, and
installs them in a special mode when the system is rebooting. This
should ensure that no breakage happens when running applications are
replaced with new versions. This is, however, a completely optional
feature, and updates of the system while it is running are still
possible with PK.
GNOME (and especially GNOME-Software) seems to make more use of
offline-updates, so we need to think about supporting it in Debian
(main issue is debconf questions, which don't work well during
offline-updates). I am not going to push that for Jessie, since it
will require some precautions in Apt/the PK aptcc backend. But if you
want, you can try it already. (Note that I want to keep this
desktop-only, since on servers it does not make that much sense (esp.
in case an error happens and the system doesn't recover correctly,
which might happen until we have btrfs, which is upstream's plan)).