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#1 2013-08-14 16:56:09

jrussell
Member
From: Cape Town, South Africa
Registered: 2012-08-16
Posts: 510

Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

I've just had an idea about how to possibly help users deal with situations where manual intervention is required during updates, I have no idea how to implement it or if it could work, Ive given it a bit of though:

What about having a package that gets updated whenever manual intervention is required, and it should be prioritized like pacman is when updating, and it could just print a warning, or even contain some script, for example in the case of https://www.archlinux.org/news/binaries … ervention/ I think a bash script of less than 100 lines could have helped a lot of users perhaps? And prevent a lot of duplicates in the forums.

Any thoughts?


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#2 2013-08-14 16:58:26

Scimmia
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Registered: 2012-09-01
Posts: 5,067

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

Pacman is written as a general package manager, not specific to Arch. How would you implement something like this and NOT make it distro specific?

And pacman is no longer "prioritized", the SyncFirst option is gone.

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#3 2013-08-14 17:04:15

jrussell
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From: Cape Town, South Africa
Registered: 2012-08-16
Posts: 510

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

No Im just saying have a package from arch which just gets updated whenever manual intervention is required, which will print messages in the pacman log indicating what is necessary for the intervention, or include a script to help deal with the intervention.
Maybe its against arch's principles.

But I think just having a package to print "####  check the home page ####" or something to that effect could be useful?

No need to do anything to pacman at all

Last edited by jrussell (2013-08-14 17:04:35)


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#4 2013-08-14 17:34:12

tomk
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Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

There are various add-on packages for this already e.g. pacmatic - not everyone wants/needs this kind of assistance, so let the user choose to install it if he/she thinks it would be useful.

Last edited by tomk (2013-08-14 17:34:58)

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#5 2013-08-14 17:48:24

WonderWoofy
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From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

Gentoo implements something similar.  There is news integration into the system, so that when there are news items to be read, you will get a notice that will appear anytime you use portage.  This isn't exactly the same as what you are suggesting, but they both rely on the same thing.  That is, the user has to be aware of this output and actually read it. 

When I started using these forums, I was kind of shocked at the number of people who use Arch, but don't even read the output of pacman when you install/update.  I knew that there would obviously be some that didn't do this, but when I learned about Arch Linux, I was drawn in by the idea of being able to maintain my own system in the way that I wanted, thus taking responsisibility for its success (or failure).  So it was obvious to me that I should try to absorb the information, particularly that which my system was trying to tell me.  But a vast number of people do not think they should have to do this.

So until you can ensure that people will actually pay attention to what they are doing and what the system is telling them, then your idea of a special package will be of no more benefit than what the install scripts already provide.  It will work for many, but there will always be those who refuse to think that they might need to read the output.

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#6 2013-08-14 17:49:50

jrussell
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From: Cape Town, South Africa
Registered: 2012-08-16
Posts: 510

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

tomk wrote:

There are various add-on packages for this already e.g. pacmatic - not everyone wants/needs this kind of assistance, so let the user choose to install it if he/she thinks it would be useful.

The user could choose whether to install the 'update checker' package too


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#7 2013-08-14 17:50:50

WonderWoofy
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From: Los Gatos, CA
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Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

jrussell wrote:
tomk wrote:

There are various add-on packages for this already e.g. pacmatic - not everyone wants/needs this kind of assistance, so let the user choose to install it if he/she thinks it would be useful.

The user could choose whether to install the 'update checker' package too

I don't see how this is different from the user choosing to install and use one of these wrappers like pacmatic.

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#8 2013-08-14 17:51:34

alphaniner
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From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 2,718

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

I have to admit, while I have no desire for such a feature, I think it's a pretty damn good idea. Or at least it would be if SyncFirst were still around.


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#9 2013-08-14 18:11:56

tomk
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From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
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Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

jrussell wrote:

The user could choose whether to install the 'update checker' package too

Indeed, that was my point - I just realised I didn't express myself as clearly as I could have. smile

Personally, I like getting all manual when it's required (and also when it's not, for that matter). IMO the Arch devs would never consider implementing anything like this, but you could certainly try to convince someone else to do it. Or maybe you could even make it a learning project for yourself.

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#10 2013-08-14 18:14:31

karol
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Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,430

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

alphaniner wrote:

I have to admit, while I have no desire for such a feature, I think it's a pretty damn good idea. Or at least it would be if SyncFirst were still around.

It would be even better if the news were printed to the console - no need for a browser (even a text one), pacman all the way!

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#11 2013-08-14 18:21:03

alphaniner
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From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
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Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

@tomk

I think the point is that this would not require any changes to the code (if SyncFirst were still around, that is):

User installs update-nanny and puts it in SyncFirst.
User runs pacman -Syu, a new version of update-nanny is found.
Update-nanny is 'installed', which would primarily consist of printing an install() message, which could be as simple as:

Some packages have been flagged as requiring manual intervention.
Please see the news at the Arch homepage.

Granted, it's all moot since SyncFirst is gone.

karol wrote:

It would be even better if the news were printed to the console - no need for a browser (even a text one), pacman all the way!

Even that might have been possible, depending on the complexity of the required intervention.

Last edited by alphaniner (2013-08-14 18:24:33)


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#12 2013-08-14 18:21:59

jrussell
Member
From: Cape Town, South Africa
Registered: 2012-08-16
Posts: 510

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

karol wrote:
alphaniner wrote:

I have to admit, while I have no desire for such a feature, I think it's a pretty damn good idea. Or at least it would be if SyncFirst were still around.

It would be even better if the news were printed to the console - no need for a browser (even a text one), pacman all the way!

I think this is what pacmatic does


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#13 2013-08-14 18:23:57

jrussell
Member
From: Cape Town, South Africa
Registered: 2012-08-16
Posts: 510

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

alphaniner wrote:

@tomk

I think the point is that this would not require any changes to the code (if SyncFirst were still around, that is):

User installs update-nanny and puts it in SyncFirst.
User runs pacman -Syu, a new version of update-nanny is found.
Update-nanny is 'installed', which would primarily consist of printing an install() message, which could be as simple as:

Some packages have been flagged as requiring manual intervention.
Please see the news at the Arch homepage.

Granted, it's all moot since SyncFirst is gone.

This is exactly what I had in mind, didnt know SyncFirst was gone sad


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#14 2013-08-14 18:25:19

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,430

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

jrussell wrote:
karol wrote:
alphaniner wrote:

I have to admit, while I have no desire for such a feature, I think it's a pretty damn good idea. Or at least it would be if SyncFirst were still around.

It would be even better if the news were printed to the console - no need for a browser (even a text one), pacman all the way!

I think this is what pacmatic does

Yup https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/27653

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#15 2013-08-14 18:34:31

jrussell
Member
From: Cape Town, South Africa
Registered: 2012-08-16
Posts: 510

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

karol wrote:
jrussell wrote:
karol wrote:

It would be even better if the news were printed to the console - no need for a browser (even a text one), pacman all the way!

I think this is what pacmatic does

Yup https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/27653

I think this is much better/simpler/easier/(more KISS) than pacmatic though (for this problem specifically)

Last edited by jrussell (2013-08-14 19:34:06)


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#16 2013-08-14 20:04:29

jakobcreutzfeldt
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Registered: 2011-05-12
Posts: 1,033

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

Pacnanny also does it (check my sig). Sorry for the shameless self-promotion.

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#17 2013-08-14 21:42:50

cfr
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From: Cymru
Registered: 2011-11-27
Posts: 5,662

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

jrussell wrote:

I think this is much better/simpler/easier/(more KISS) than pacmatic though (for this problem specifically)

Why?

pacmatic doesn't require any change to packages requiring intervention or any changes to pacman to allow it to recognise special flags in packages. It just relies on the existence of the news item. So how could something requiring changes to pacman and packaging practices be simpler or more KISS than something which requires neither and already exists?

Remember that simplicity applies primarily to the code and not to e.g. ease of use.


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#18 2013-08-14 22:03:40

alphaniner
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From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 2,718

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

@cfr

I think you're not understanding his idea. If SyncFirst were still around, this would have worked without changing pacman or existing packages. See post #13.


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#19 2013-08-14 23:15:47

cfr
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From: Cymru
Registered: 2011-11-27
Posts: 5,662

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

alphaniner wrote:

@cfr

I think you're not understanding his idea. If SyncFirst were still around, this would have worked without changing pacman or existing packages. See post #13.

Perhaps you are right. I took the comment to apply to the suggestion in the linked bug report quoted in the message and that suggestion is different from the SyncFirst-update-nanny one in that it relies on flags being set in packages which pacman would then parse.

I agree that the update-nanny-SyncFirst option is simple although I don't see why it is simpler than pacmatic. But I'm not familiar with pacmatic's code.

EDIT: I sound like its code is something I might have been familiar with. I hasten to add that is not the case.

Last edited by cfr (2013-08-14 23:20:21)


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#20 2013-08-14 23:16:22

ANOKNUSA
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Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

jrussell wrote:
tomk wrote:

There are various add-on packages for this already e.g. pacmatic - not everyone wants/needs this kind of assistance, so let the user choose to install it if he/she thinks it would be useful.

The user could choose whether to install the 'update checker' package too

And I can choose not to buckle my seatbelt.  The issue is therefore moot.

Most of the time, Pacman will flat-out stop and spit out an error message, without making any changes, if manual intervention is required.  That's your red flag right there.  The people who get into trouble are usually the people who use the "--force" flag to push through an update before preparing the system as needed; hell, so many of the news items about "manual intervention" are just reminders not to use --force.  I don't mean to be a jerk, but the world is full of people who don't think, won't think until they make a mistake, and will only think in the future if they can admit they're capable of mistakes. I have more than one cyclist friend who never wore a helmet until they found themselves in the emergency room. tongue

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#21 2013-08-15 00:00:10

Morrad
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From: Washington State, USA
Registered: 2012-01-18
Posts: 54
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Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

A better, distribution agnostic way to do this would be for those with the ability to hurry up and implement Allan's feature proposal to include hooks in pacman.  Then every distribution using pacman can (optionally) include their own package with a "presync" hook to go and look for updates in their news feed.

Personally, I would like the hooks so that configuration snapshots could be much easier, but this really is the the best way to do this IMO.

EDIT: Grammar

Last edited by Morrad (2013-08-15 00:00:48)


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#22 2013-08-15 00:33:43

donniezazen
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From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2011-06-24
Posts: 671
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Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

I agree Hooks are much needed. Different wrappers do different things which might not be an ideal solution. One for etckeeper, one for AUR, one for Snapper, etc. We need addons that extend the functionality of pacman.

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#23 2013-08-15 02:03:16

Allan
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From: Brisbane, AU
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Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

Use Manjaro - they reinstated SyncFirst so that they could run a script to avoid the need for manual updates.

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#24 2013-08-15 02:23:14

Trilby
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Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

alias pacman='echo "read the news, or sing the blues!"; pacman'

No need for a separate package.


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#25 2013-08-15 14:51:40

skottish
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From: Here
Registered: 2006-06-16
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Re: Idea to help with manual intervention updates in arch

Trilby wrote:
alias pacman='echo "read the news, or sing the blues!"; pacman'

No need for a separate package.

Alternatively:

alias pacman='echo "Allan already broke it!"; pacman'

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