Maybe openSUSE needs something like Ubuntu's app center

One of the features of the new Ubuntu Karmic that I can see that could make it super easy for new users to install programs/application is its software center.
Its software center is mostly a type free interface, its very easy to navigate without even having to use the keyboard (other then to type in the password)
Now I know openSUSE has its one click installer but you do need to give the search engine the app you want to access the one click installer.
Now its a little late to make a application like Ubuntu’s app center right now in time for 11.2 , but maybe there could be some edits to the package download pages to make it easier to navigate to the programs/apps people need and make something like this for 11.3

Either that, or maybe TaraIkeda should learn how to use YaST?

Screenshot of the “totally new and great app center” in Ubuntu:

YaST => Software => Software Management => Filter “Package Groups”

Striking similarity, isn’t it?

This has been there since 10.3 or even earlier.

Cruel, but so funny.

YaST is but one part of openSUSE, but it’s the user-facing part for system configuration, so how someone can be unaware of what is in effect openSUSE’s “personality” astounds me.

You see, what is especially funny for me is the fact, that some other distros (read “their users”) very often make fun of openSUSE and YaST.

But when you actually look, what these distros do to provide some nice GUI for $ADMINISTRATIVE_PURPOSE you will find, that they either use the same idea of a central instance with a lot of modules (Mandriva with their “drakconfig”, if that name is still accurate) or they provide a lot of single applications each for one of the jobs being done by one of the modules in YaST.

But I am really happy, that Ubuntu also has “invented” this feature now, just like when they developed AppArmor so openSUSE could port it to their distro … erm … wait a minute …


Is there any other distro, which provides something similar to SCPM nowadays? For me one of the killer features of openSUSE.

Maybe a hint for Ubuntu et. al., if they don’t have an idea what to “invent” next.

TaraIkeda wrote:
> … software center

openSUSE’s “software center” is named YaST, give it a whirl…it is
pretty cool and is in 11.2 (and 9.x)…

Have a lot of fun…

> YaST is but one part of openSUSE, but it’s the user-facing part for
> system configuration, so how someone can be unaware of what is in effect
> openSUSE’s “personality” astounds me.

Because the UI’s on other distros are so hobbled that they end up mucking
around in config files in a shell so, coming to SuSE they have instant knee
jerk reactions to find the equivalent command lines and files instead of
discovering that yes, SuSE does have functional GUI apps.

No the functionality is actually completely different in Ubuntu’s app center and yes I have toyed around with YAST.
The app center gives the new user some aid on installing applications, giving the user icons for each application and each category plus detailed information of that app.
Plus app center only gives a list of basic packages one might need, as opposed to YAST that shows off everything.
Something like a “Yast basic” for beginners would be helpful, something that provides icons, screenshots, that sort of thing.
I know its so easy for you guys to write this off as “hey its a Ubuntu project”, and then say “we have YAST”
But maybe Yast gives the new user one too many applications to choose from, the app center on Ubuntu gives the new user only a basic amount of GUI packages and does not show CLI apps, YAST does not filter out CLI apps.
Look I am not saying app center is “ground breaking” I have seen simular tools in the past.
But it does offer a very simplistic application installer that filters out non GUI apps, could be useful to new users.

I think YaST “Package Groups” as well as “Pattern” show a nice grouping of the huge amount of software. And all the short descriptions are there also (though some packagers might improve there *) ).

Personaly I need information, not icons.

I once read as description that “This package was a much improved replacement for package Y”. Full Stop. The other package Y could nowhere be found because it was dumped years ago.

For new users Icons would be nice though, and yes know Yast provides information but not screenshots (at least the one in 11.1, I am unsure if screenshot previews will make it into 11.2)
But if Yast itself cannot be modified maybe we could tweak the openSUSE main package download page so that it lists the most popular applications and categorizes them, sort of like GetDeb.
Software Categories

when browsing through getdeb you get screenshots too:
Packages on category Graphics & Design

When going a search through you get a description, the installer and the one click install but no visual reference to the package you are interested in.
I think it would be a good idea to suggest package previews for new users.

Or in a nutshell:

You think that most new users are morons (maybe I could agree on that g) and should also be treated as such in restricting their possibilities to choose?
If so, I can only hope, YaST will never be “improved” in that way.

No no, but the main reason why Ubuntu is so popular is that in the past it offered add/remove and now offers app center.
Both offer a very basic set of apps to get one started, when you are a new user you might get confused with how many applications a single category can offer.
Without a non gui app filter it could lead to a uneasy experience and it could confuse new user.
Leave regular YAST alone, and still offer all the packages but maybe there could be a “easy yast” armed only with installers for a basic amount of packages to get one started.
I am just seeing something that could be helpful to new users here.
Its just a suggestion in the end.

I’ve seen the app center you’re talking about. Since this’d be for the new users, I wonder how a 1-click catalog that’d run through Yast sounds to you.
It’d be a site like the OSC does with the Restricted Formats not exactly what I think you’re after, but at a 4G+ download I wonder if there’s any space left on the install DVD.
I’ll admit I personally am not a user of 1-clicks so please forgive my ignorance if such a catalog already exists.
I do remember my 1st visit to Opensuse & I was a moron & yes I was a overwhelmed! A one stop shop of starter apps sounds like it’d have made things easier. Also, in a page format one could read about how to use Yast.

YaST is much more than just an application centre. It’s long been the envy of others too.

> the main reason why Ubuntu is so popular is that …

your idea of the reason for Ubuntu popularity is an opinion which is
not be shared by all… :slight_smile:

personally, i think it has something to do with Mark’s deep pockets
and willingness to send a free live/install CD anywhere in the
world…a marketing plan which also earned America On Line (AOL) a
boatload of money in the '90s…

don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a boatload of money,
or three…but, just because Mark can afford a more expensive
marketing strategy than can Novell is no reason to assume they have a
lock on all the good ideas–and their way should be copied by all
other distros, or even just this one…

Have a lot of fun…

  • TaraIkeda wrote, On 10/31/2009 01:36 AM:
    > Without a non gui app filter it could lead to a uneasy experience and
    > it could confuse new user.

Makes sense to me. A lot of people don’t want CLI tools.


How true!

Yast needs improvement too, but “as is” works most of the time. I tend to look to a future YAST where one can actually bring up setting files at least for review of what Yast has done. A tiered group repository installer would also be nice under both software add/remove and software update.

I’ve been a fan of suse so long, I get a knee-jerk reaction when someone says there is a better feature in ubuntu (or elsewhere). But to be fair minded, a better presentation of apps might be possible and useful to the newest users.

A rating system might help, as well. For example, through the years, I could never get kooka to work satisfactorily for me, but I couldn’t live without xsane. Skanlite is sometimes ok. I would advise new users (or rate) to use one of these similarly functioning apps rather than another.

The same argument could be made for apps that aren’t included but everybody wants, ie. the codecs. Searching the forums tells you where to get them and what to do with them, but a “newbie’s list” or “recommended extras” list (or section in yast) would be useful. That might even permit a smaller install if not every single app was included on the DVD or CD.

I’m pretty happy the way things are. but there’s always room for improvement. :wink:

Anything that provides a simpler approach for new users should be welcomed, providing it doesn’t dumb-down more advanced features, doesn’t add significantly to the bloat, and doesn’t add clutter to the “kickoff” menu. :wink:

It already is spreading around as a method: if things, no matter what, don’t work in latest Ubuntu, “simply install everything from the app-center, sometimes that works”. The windu method of throwing in as much codecs as possible and pray.

Am I the only one that has to have a terminal window open on Ubuntu all the time? Had to help somebody put two Ubuntu 9.10 machines in an openSUSE 11.1 network with NIS and NFS this weekend; we talked about compiling Yast for Ubuntu, since it lacks a Yast definitely.

I think that’s nice idea. But if it’s implemented it nees to be defined if the users will vote directly for an app trough Yast or based on reports to the packagers/developers of openSUSE or something else.
I think the first one is better but it will has to be thought of a way to stop voting many times.