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Re: Separating packages.

On Tue, 2004-04-06 at 18:38, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> The problem with the package list is simply that it is too large.  This is a
> problem for low-bandwidth users and users with small amounts of memory, for
> example.
> It also makes package management UIs harder to navigate, produces additional
> work for tools which must process each binary package, makes package
> searches less likely to find the right thing...

I'm inclined to believe that there are some things that could be done
about this if someone wanted to. Diffs for the package list has been
proposed, and it doesn't take many minutes of thinking to see that it's
actually quite possible to do for a stable release (infrequent changes).
Making the package database efficient for the purposes you describe is
definitely not impossible either, even with a large list of packages.

> Yes, we have more than enough growth from adding new software; there is no
> need to compound the problem with unnecessary splits.

From a usability perspective, the technical problems of the package
management system are uninteresting. Presenting the packages in a
well-organized, easily searchable way and letting the user choose what
to install and what not to install is the primary goal. If splitting a
package supports a group of users, and the split doesn't affect the
needs of other groups of users, then I think "the package management
system doesn't scale" is a bad excuse for not making the split.

Unneccessary splits should of course be avoided, always.

Fabian Fagerholm <fabbe@paniq.net>

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