[Computerbank] synaptic reviews please?
fjc at thingy.apana.org.au
Tue Aug 20 21:51:05 UTC 2002
On Wed, Aug 14, 2002 at 09:52:29AM +0930, Romana Challans wrote:
> Can I ask who has tried synaptic, an excellent apt gui? I am interested in it
> for the build we give to recipients - installs can be a nightmare for so
> Tis available under Sid - I welcome all comments before adding it to SA
> standard install build!
I've given it a bit of a try, and I have serious doubts about using it as an
apt frontend for naive users. Unfortunately, GUI != User Friendly.
I think the GUI itself is OK, the problem is the program logic behind it. To
illustrate what I mean, select the option to display only installed
packages, find libc, then hit the 'Remove' button. synaptic will happily
mark most of the installed packages for removal, without complaining that
libc is an essential package and that the system will be left in an unusable
state. I'm sure apt itself will notice the problem and refuse to co-operate,
but I wasn't game to hit the 'Proceed' button to test that particular
Which sort of defeats the point of the exercise. If users have to interact
directly with apt to resolve these problems then the GUI isn't much of an
improvement over apt itself or the text-mode frontends like aptitude or
(dare I say it) dselect. Where dselect wins over synaptic in a big way is
that it refuses to do dangerous things like uninstall libc without making it
absolutely clear to the user that this is a Bad Thing (tm).
There is no 'Undo' option, so even if the user notices all those red
triangles against just about every package, they can only return to the
status quo by exiting the program.
There is no online help and absolutely no documentation.
Home Page: <URL:http://thingy.apana.org.au/~fjc/>
Not the Scientology Home Page: <URL:http://xenu.apana.org.au/ntshp/>
More information about the computerbank