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Could synaptic be made to work seamlesly with Arch?

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libervisco's picture
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I think just making synaptic work flawlessly with Arch package manager (pacman) would pretty much redefine what Arch can be and may be the first step to creating a customized Arch distribution or Arch based GNU/Linux distro.

If this can be done, then all we need is enhance autodetection and autoconfiguration of Arch while not compromising the simplicity of resulting conf files to end up with Arch based distro made to "just work" out of the box. Frugalware has probably done alot in this field, but instead of synaptic they use their own frugalpkg, with which I haven't had much good experiences thus far. I'm not yet sure how seamless their autodetection and autoconfiguration is.

Anyway, what do you think?

tbuitenh's picture
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Quote: Anyway, what do you
Quote:

Anyway, what do you think?

I think you're trying to make Arch something that it shouldn't be.

Why on earth do you want to wrap a clicky-clicky GUI on a package management tool that is - IMHO - far superior to that GUI?

You know my opinion about anything with "auto" in it Eye

libervisco's picture
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Hmm well I know your

Hmm well I know your opinion. Eye To me it's not something that has absolute truth in it, but rather a preference. Some prefer GUI and others prefer command line. I preffer CLI in some cases and not in others and sometimes I don't have a real overall preference, but just want all options open.

Now, pacman is excellent, sure. But it wont display a multitude of packages in one convenient view with descriptions showing up on a click of a mouse. Instead you need to do pacman -Ss package to get the short description, and then scroll over the raw list to see it. The way synaptic could present this information is IMO still superior. Sticking out tongue

I am aware there already are some GUI front ends like gtkpacman, and I tried some of them. They don't feel so complete as synaptic.

Anyway, I'm not necessarily suggesting creating an actual distribution, just pondering some ideas and possibilities. In a Free Software world we are allowed to do that. If someone thinks synaptic on top of pacman is a good idea that's freedom we have. Another one who thinks it's a bad idea will just use plain Arch. No big deal really. Smiling

I personally think, though, that Arch has an awesome potential as a base of a user friendly distro.

tbuitenh's picture
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Synaptics GUI lists of

Synaptics GUI lists of packages are easy to use... until you want to use them as input for something else on a commandline Eye .

I like this analogy:

The typical clicky-clicky non-free software is like a bus: you get in at one bus stop, and get out at the other. When it breaks, it leaves you waiting in the rain.

Non-clicky-clicky free software is like a car: it goes exactly where you want it to, at the time you want it to. But you do need to learn to drive it, and maybe even learn how to repair it when it breaks.

Clicky-clicky free software is like a bus where the driver is willing to give you the keys. Nice, but it isn't easy to drive on a road that isn't straight. And when it breaks, you definitely don't know how to fix it (what when X fails and you're left at a commandline?).

In computing, I don't believe in public transport. In real life it's a different thing Smiling .

libervisco's picture
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Not everyone has to use the

Not everyone has to use the output as input of something else. I never felt the need for that. I can see how it can allow for cool things, but I just don't use that possibility. Smiling

tbuitenh wrote:

Clicky-clicky free software is like a bus where the driver is willing to give you the keys. Nice, but it isn't easy to drive on a road that isn't straight. And when it breaks, you definitely don't know how to fix it (what when X fails and you're left at a commandline?).

If you fall down to command line then you have the man page and the command line version of the package manager to deal with. You can learn what you need to learn to fix the problem, or have someone else fix it. I am the kind of user for which the problem implied by this analogy simply doesn't bear any significance. I may prefer a GUI, but I know my way around a command line. Just because I know it, though, doesn't mean I can't get tired of doing it that way. Maybe I'm just tired of typing and I want to click'n-be-done with it. Sticking out tongue

free-zombie's picture
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I don't believe it can be

I don't believe it can be easily be done. Synaptic is an apt front-end, and may be tightly entwined with it. When you use synaptic on an RPM distro like Fedora or BLAG, it uses apt-rpm internally (which is getting less and less significance in the FC world I believe).

tbuitenh's picture
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Okay, so maybe you can fix a

Okay, so maybe you can fix a bus, but it's not as easy to fix as a car is because it isn't assumed you will tinker with it.
But what about the straight road problem? What when you want to do something the developers didn't think of? You never do such things?

libervisco's picture
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tbuitenh wrote: But what
tbuitenh wrote:

But what about the straight road problem? What when you want to do something the developers didn't think of? You never do such things?

Those are likely to be things that are not routine and hence I wouldn't be so sorry the effort of dropping to command line to do them. Smiling

libervisco's picture
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free-zombie wrote: I don't
free-zombie wrote:

I don't believe it can be easily be done. Synaptic is an apt front-end, and may be tightly entwined with it. When you use synaptic on an RPM distro like Fedora or BLAG, it uses apt-rpm internally (which is getting less and less significance in the FC world I believe).

Hmm.. maybe apt-pacman could be developed? Ahh that doesn't make sense at all so call it a joke. Eye

I think there are some similarities between pacman and apt-get though. There are equivalent commands, so maybe if parts reffering to these commands in synaptic could just be replaced with equivalent pacman commands that could be a start.

But alright, it is apparently quite challenging. At least it is (or was) a thought to ponder. I still think Arch can be a base for a "user friendly" distro (kind of like Ubuntu on top of Debian). Frugalware is actually one attempt at that so maybe they make it afterall..

tbuitenh's picture
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what command line?
libervisco wrote:
tbuitenh wrote:

But what about the straight road problem? What when you want to do something the developers didn't think of? You never do such things?

Those are likely to be things that are not routine and hence I wouldn't be so sorry the effort of dropping to command line to do them. Smiling

You know, when you're expected to use a gui, sometimes there isn't a usable commandline option.

libervisco's picture
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Well in this case there is

Well in this case there is actually.

I'm not sure I understood that correctly.

But anyway, we may disagree here, if this can even be called a disagreement. If there is really no one right way for everyone and I tend to think so, then neither of us is really right about this, or both are right within certain contexts. Smiling

tbuitenh's picture
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Someone here has been

Someone here has been annoyed by "easy to use" software a few times too often, and it's not you Eye .

free-zombie's picture
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to clarify one thing: I'm

to clarify one thing: I'm right. You may not be.

anyway, "easy of use" is a word without clearly defined meaning. "Usability" is an even worse term...
"ease of learning" is less problematic Eye

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