[packagekit] PackageKit 0.1.3 comments / suggestions
david at fubar.dk
Wed Nov 14 11:16:26 PST 2007
Here's a few comments/suggestions about PackageKit-0.1.3-1.fc9 as
shipped in Fedora Rawhide. Certainly not an exhaustive test or anything;
just issues I ran into while playing around with. All in all PackageKit
totally rocks; most of these things are cosmetic issues that should be
easy to fix (except for the first one)
1. Clicking around... if the yum metadata is out of date this totally
blows. I keep getting the bouncing progress bar for minutes. This is
especially the case when clicking on an uninstalled package; nothing
My suggestion on how to fix this is brutal and controversial and will
make the UI worse. Still, I think it's the right thing to do.
PackageKit's yum backend should never decide when to refresh the
meta data. In the case of Rawhide the metadata (primary + filelists)
is in the 10MB range. This surely affects dial up users too. Here
on the RH Boston network I'm getting like 25kb/s.
Suggestion: Instead, you should configure your yum instance
such that it never refreshes the meta data. In the UI, however,
you want a Firefox-style notification bar, like this
explaining how old the meta data is and giving the user an
opportunity to refresh it in case the server has newer meta data
(you should be able to do this check without downloading it, right?)
For unattended updates you just download it in the background.
This also very similar to apt-get update vs. apt-get upgrade; the
mantra here is to avoid being smarter than the user. It's also
similar to pkg managers on many small devices; e.g. my iPhone and
lots of other cell phones.
Anyway, for PK to actually be useful what I did was to manually
run yum(1) on the command line such that the meta data was current.
- The windows should be taller; both for the Add/Remove software and
the updater; am I the only one who always manually resize them?
Suggestion: Make the windows taller.
- Multiple feedback is bad
Suggestion: use unicast signals for reporting errors and only
multicast if the initiating caller jumped off the bus
- Somewhat related: Heisenbugs; There's a few pretty apparent bugs here
and there. Sometimes I'm told dependency resolution couldn't be
resolved; for example press Depends on the hal package:
I'm not sure what this even means; a modal dialog certain isn't the
right place; a better place would be to put this in the text field
on the tab
Suggestion: Do more smoke testing and sanitize error reporting
paths and handling
- If I click on an uninstalled package it normally takes some time
for the description etc. to appear. If I'm clicking the "Homepage"
button while PK is spinning I am brought to the "homepage" of the
previous package I was looking at
Suggestion: Make the Homepage button insensitive if you don't have
- Homepage is a weird name for a button; ; maybe use Website instead
(at least in in en_US)
- Depends and Requires tabs are ambiguously named; depends on the
point of view whether you're on the inside looking out or on the
Suggestion: Depends -> Depends On ; Requires -> Required By
- Would be nice to have a ChangeLog tab too.
- The list of packages should be sorted alphabetically. Would be nice
if search in the package list treeview worked.
Anyway, most of these things are purely cosmetic. Rock on PackageKit
team. Hope this helps.
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