Debian Package Manager brainstorming session

This is a transcript of a brainstorming session that is taking place in the debian-devel mailing list.

The goal of the brainstorming is to collect background informations about package managers, like what is a package manager, what is should do, who uses it and to do what. This informations will then be available to be used as a ground for further analyses and in the design of Debian package manager applications.

The readers of this page are welcome to join the brainstorming by sending me a mail

The transcript


Intended users

[Osamu Aoki] I think these "User" thing can be summarized in 3 coordinates:

  1. User::Skill::Developer/Experienced/Intermediate/Newbie
  2. User::Taste::Technical/non-technical
    (Taste: There can be 2 types for "Technical" and this can be split. "detail" oriented control freak for *production* server admin and "easy" *personal* workstation admin.)
  3. User::Access::wheel/staff/user
    (Access: wheel & staff may be merged as an administrator,)
4*2*3=24 possible combinations :-)

Also "User" may have different focuses:

I think, in the end, in order to address all these different types of user, we need more than menu presentation infrastructures. Something like policy-based configuration tweaking infrastructure especially to address "Skill" things.

At this moment, I think this can be one "User". Debian User :-)

Instead of addressing "User" factors, we may be able to assign "Relevance" attribute of each package for the typical uses.

[Enrico Zini] Maybe this is best addressed by subprojects/metadistros/flavours altogether? I see much potential in that direction.

Purpose of the package management application

The main purposes of the package management application are: [Osamu Aoki]

  1. to reduce task by the System administrator of any skill level and orientation, and
  2. to provide information to the administrator and normal user for the availability and usefulness of the packages.

These two main purposes can in turn be decomposed in other subtasks:

add your ideas to the list


Once we have some analysis and we documented a set of tasks the application is to be used for, we will have a strong, common ground from which we can proceed:

[Debian Usability Research home page] - [deb-usability-list] - [Alioth project page] Enrico Zini