RE: Simplifying package installation.

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> multi-user systems or 'family' systems, where dishing out the root
> password to everyone so that they can install their own stuff is not
> an option.

If you don't trust people with the root password, you probably don't
want to give them carte blanche to install things left, right and
centre (even if it is in their "personal" rpm db). There are too many
factors involved to allow them single click installation of any
package into their personal db. I just plain don't like the idea. If a
user wants a spreadsheet package installed, there is no harm in them
asking the system admin to do it for them.
> It is not, however a solution to the "installing packages without
> access" problem. This is a much more tricky problem than just a
> front end...

It is indeed tricky. As far as I can see, there is no simple or clean
solution. However you choose to solve it, you are going to have to
kludge something somewhere along the way.

Just picture a box with 300 users who have all decided that the
versions of the various GNOME packages installed by the sysadmin
aren't adequate and have taken it upon themselves to each install
different versions (and that is before they install any apps). You are
going to hit HUGE dependancy problems as their personal rpm db's get
further from the main system one and they install packages which don't
sit comfortably with other packages the system uses. As an example,
say RH updates the pam packages and a new app appears which needs the
new pam package. User A wants to install this new app, so he grabs it
and it tells him he also needs the new pam package which he dutifully
installs. Both packages are satisfied in terms of the RPM dependancies
as his personal db thinks everything is normal. Since he has no root
access, he can't actually get the new pam package to do anything
useful so the shiny new app fails. He now has to call upon the
sysadmin to fix it and you are back to the problem of needing the root
password to install a new application.
It's a fairly extreme example, but if you are going to make a change
like this, it needs to be suited to single user boxes, "family" boxes
and large servers that deal with large numbers of users. If it doesn't
scale properly, it will be hugely unpopular.
> You're welcome to write one though ;)

I wish that I could, but my coding skills aren't that good yet :(

- ---
 _____ _         _       _____
| __  | |___ ___| |_ ___|   __|_ _ ___        Chris "Ng" Jones
| __ -| | .'|  _| '_|___|__   | | |   |
|_____|_|__,|___|_,_|   |_____|___|_|_|
            S o f t w a r e

 "Linux is beating Windows" - David Cole, Microsoft Executive

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