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Re: Packaging WM themes - question

On Fri, May 25, 2001 at 11:39:23AM +0200, andrea gelmini wrote:
> On Fri, May 25, 2001 at 10:32:41AM +0200, Michael Neuffer wrote:
> > There are more then enough machines around that already have 
> > problems with the package management. Machines that must run 
> > with 16 or maybe 8 MB of memory (or even less) with an 386sx/16 
> > CPU or similar. 
> do you really install useless and heavy, for ram and cpu, kde
> themes on such machines?

No, but those packages need to be parsed and checked for dependencies by
pkg etc... This takes lots of cycles and lots of RAM on _all_ machines,
regardless of wether those packages are actually installed. Using
dselect on a P75/24 MB is a true PITA, In the past I've used a script
that fingered the machine every minute and raised an alarm if it didn't
respond. I ran it when upgrading that machine so I knew when (not if)
it crashed (ok, not really crashed, but unusable). On my 386 I don't
even try to do automatic installs anymore. I use dpkg to install
packages one by one.

My solution to this is to split the package archives.
Currently a typical /etc/apt/sources.list looks like this:

deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian stable main contrib non-free
deb http://non-us.debian.org/debian-non-US stable/non-US main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org stable/updates main contrib non-free

Why not add a few more directories. eg KDE, Gnome, Dutch translations
like this:

deb http://http.us.debian.org/KDE stable main contrib non-free


deb http://GNOME.debian.org/debian stable main contrib non-free

By removing such a line from /etc/apt/sources.lists my machine my
machine wouldn't even know about all those packages, which would mean a
significant speed-up. Another (small) benefit would be that I don't have
to download package information about packages I don't want to install
anyway. The difference would be just a few K per apt-get update, which
is completly neglectible for my broad-band connection. But it certainly
matters to the server and modem users.

To implement this not a single line of code needs to be written. Apt is
designed to do stuff like this. A utillity to add/remove lines to
/etc/apt/sources.list would be nice, but IIRC such a tool does exist.
Dselect->Access also has a (very ugly IMHO) interface to this.

The only disadvantage I can think of is that when a new section is added
apt/dselect won't know about it until it's added to sources.list . I've
made up two solutions to this but they are a bit ugly. I'll take KDE
for an example and show which steps need to be made to install KDE when
a KDE section is added.:

solution 1: Every time a new section is added the sources.list
managment tool needs to be updated.

To add KDE:
-apt-get update
-upgrade sources.list tool
-use the tool/dselect->access to add a line for KDE to sources.list
-apt-get update
-use dselect/apt-get install to install KDE packages

pro: -everything can be done with existing software
con: -many users won't even realize KDE exists until they figure out how
to add entry to sources.list as it doesn't show up in dselect->select

solution 2: use packages to add lines to sources.list

To add KDE:
-apt-get update
-use dselect to install task-kde upon installation task-kde will add a
line to sources.list pointing to the KDE archives
-apt-get update
-install KDE packages

pro: -the user doens't need to know about /etc/apt/sources.list, when a
new section is added it shows up with other new packages and the user
can decide wether or not he likes to use this section.
con: -when taks-kde is installed KDE isn't until apt-get update/upgrade
is run a second time

	Casper Gielen
casper@huiscomputer.homeip.net, capslock2000@mailandnews.com
People just generally like to disagree. 
	Bill Joy

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