Disapointed about Adept 3 – first impressions

A personal field report about my impressions of Adept as new package manager for KUbuntu. Unfortunately without happy ending.

Today I did an update of my mythbuntu media PC to intrepid. I don’t want to update my working computer, but I was very curious because of the new features of Kubuntu intrepid. Along with other improvements you can read there:

“A new desktop needs a new package manager, Adept 3 fulfills that need.”

The first time I read this, I thought: “Wow, they have seen that Adept 2 was not working well – they have done it better now!”. But after testing it today I must conclude, it is new. But that is about the only positive thing to say about it.

Ok, I try to be fair, because I know how difficult it is to create a really good interface. And, hey the first glance of it is pretty good, I like the accordeon-style and I am great fan of interactions working with a filter-list-approach. It looks a little unfinished. This is ok however, as mornfall states in his blog that Adept 3 is still beta.

But as soon as I started interacting with the gui, the problems began.

Where in Adept 2 I could easily filter packages I now had to interact with icons of unclear meaning. While I was totally confused about what I saw, I decided to first adjust my repositories. Luckily this dialogue stayed basically the same as in the version before. While the package-list was refreshed the screen started bouncing, because progress kept bars pop-up and down. I saw that retrieval of some of my repositories failed. But I could see which ones, because the output just kept running – and disappeared from this as soon as all repositories we up to date.

So now I wanted to check what was installed, what has to be updated or removed and take the appropriate action. But Adept really made it hard for me. Entering a filter-string brought up an alphabetical list of all packages that were somehow related to the string I was entering. So entering “myth”, lets you scroll through all packages from “a” to “m” to finally check the state of some core mythtv packages.

When I want to remove a package, I have to first find it in the list, then open it in the list and then – finally check a box. This is at least one more step then in Adept 2. Multiple selection and manipulation of packages seems to be missing…

As I said, this written under my first impressions of Adept 3. Perhaps I will be more gracious once I have used it a while. But I am personally disappointed about the state Adept is in – especially compared to existing package-gui solutions (e.g. the gentoo portage-GUI kuroo, whose development I was allowed participate) and to the state it in was before. This does not mean I thought Adept 2 was a good program. It was the best for KDE and I had to make peace with it. But creating Adept 3 and loosing from low level seems to me incomprehensible.

I hope that a central project, as it is Adept for Kubuntu, is willing to accept support. There are many opportunities for willing OpenSource Projects:

And as I have worked a lot on concepts for package management in the kuroo project, I would be delighted to contribute to the Adept project as well.

Now I go back to my media PC and hope that Kubuntu intrepid is a little more, than only new.