the poldek 0.20 review

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The poldek project is the RPM packages management helper tool; its basic features are similar to every modern package updater like ap

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 1035K
Developer: Pawel A. Gajda
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The poldek project is the RPM packages management helper tool; its basic features are similar to every modern package updater like apt-get -- the program takes information about packages from package index file (packages.dir.gz by default) and allows packaging installation, upgrading and removal.

Package dependencies are automatically handled, so if you need to install a package which requires other packages to be installed, poldek downloads and installs all the required packages by itself.

Main poldek's advantages are:

- Relatively fast dependency processing

Package dependencies, conflicts and setting in order are handled by poldek itself without using rpmlib, so the program is significantly faster and uses less memory than rpmlib-based tools.

- "Smart" installation of a big package sets

Before their installation packages are divided into small groups, usually from 2 to 10 items (depending on their reciprocal dependencies). Each group is installed separately, which ensures that unsucessful installation of one of the groups doesn't influence other groups.

Another benefit of this separate installation is that it requires less memory and disk space than the usual one.

- Interactive mode

The poldek can work in two modes: a batch mode (in use similar to apt-get one) and interactive one. The interactive mode puts the user into a readline interface with command line auto-completion and history. In this mode the user is able to browse, search, download, install/upgrade and deinstall packages. In its concept it is similar to shell mode of Perl's CPAN module (see sample interactive mode session).

- Installation system from scratch needs 8-12 MB memory only

During this type of install packages are downloaded and installed separately, so used memory size is independent of number of packages intended to install. Program is used by PLD Installer

- Quick package set verification for unresolved dependencies unneeded conflicts and dependency loops.

Feature is useful for distribution maintainers; see sample report.

- Division package set for the purpose of placing it on removable media (like CDROM or ZIP).

Program divide packages in the way that minimize needs of disk changes; for example if distribution fits on 3 CDs, then only 2 changes of CD disk are necessary during installation system from scratch. This feature is used for making PLD CD ISO images, see geniso-poldek script for details.

- Support for "patches" of package index

To save users time and bandwidth program supports "incremental indexes" which is very useful with repositories which frequently change. This feature consist in creation "patches" of index which gives the users possibility to update local index by download "patch" with information of changes only.

- Program is prepared to be run by ordinary user, installation of packages in that case can be done with sudo.

What's New in This Release:
This is the first release after the poldek redesign.
New features and significant changes include a new native package repository index format, support for Yum and XML Metadata repositories, improved support for APT-RPM indexes, a more user friendly interactive mode, proper packages ordering before their uninstallation, a clearer configuration syntax, a better dependency resolver, and many more.

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