RFC: On-demand package installation API in kdelibs

Lubos Lunak l.lunak at suse.cz
Thu Jul 29 21:55:42 BST 2010

On Thursday 29 of July 2010, Hans Meine wrote:
> On Thursday 29 July 2010 18:25:12 Sune Vuorela wrote:
> > On 2010-07-29, John Tapsell <johnflux at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > - K3B needs many optional packages, like cdrecord, md5sum, etc
> >
> > I wouldn't call a package like wodim (or cdrecord for the schilyists) a
> > optional package for k3b
> >
> > just like I_wouldn't consider
> >
> > > - Kile needs many optional packages like latex, etc
> >
> > latex a optional package for kile.
> I agree here.  Using the API for such dependencies would indeed be abusing
> it, in particular when combined with an implementation that pops up
> password dialogs, which would teach the user to click through them.
> Maybe we should really compile a list next, and decide in which cases it
> could make sense to connect to package installation systems and in which
> not.

 Actually part of the motivation and design was being able to handle even 
dependencies that seem to be "obvious". For example KHelpCenter could very 
well use the API to try to install an application manual if it's missing, 
even though in normal cases that should of course be part of the installation 
of the application itself. But consider the liveCD media (or Kubuntu, I think 
they have only CD as an installation medium) - they have limited space 
available, they can be used to do a real installation, and, seriously, how 
many people actually read documentation (and if they do, they don't read it 
all anyway)? Adding 'KInstall::install( "khelpcenter-manual-" + 
application )' to KHelpCenter code won't matter for the normal case, but it 
would help in this special case with space constraints.

 Or we had a problem with Nepomuk in openSUSE 11.2 - we decided to turn it off 
by default and not even include the dependencies in the default installation 
or the liveCD (since they took some space). We rather quickly ended up with 
bugreports from users who tried to enable Nepomuk, got just a (not very good 
IIRC) error message and didn't realize they had to install additional 
packages to get it to work.

 Lubos Lunak
 openSUSE Boosters team, KDE developer
 l.lunak at suse.cz , l.lunak at kde.org

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