Small user survey: More modularized KDE packages?

Sebastian Vahl deadbabylon at
Mon Nov 16 16:48:19 UTC 2009


In last weeks KDE-SIG meeting I proposed a split of the existing KDE packages 
into smaller subpackages. My main motivation for doing this proposal was the 
ability to only install the packages/applications that are really wanted. My 
small-sized netbook SSD and the KDE live images were targets for this.

With this mail I want to ask you as users of Fedora-KDE what you think about 
this proposal. Because if you don't want a more modularized KDE in Fedora 
(whch would also introduce some more complexity) there is no need to do this.

I prepared a wiki page with the work I've done so far. For easier discussion I 
paste a copy of it in this mail:

So the floor is now open for all feedback, opinions, enhancements, proposals 
and rejections. :)


= Motivation =

My personal motivation for splitting the KDE packages into more granulated 
packages could be differed into these steps:

1. Possibility to only install the wanted applications on my netbook (only 16 
2. Some repeating requests in the german fedora forum to split the packages 
like other distributions.
3. Finer package selection on the live images. 

= Pros and Cons =

== Pros ==

* Ability to only install what the user want.
* Small runtime for special targets like netbooks possible.
* cherry-pick the applications in a non-KDE environment. 

== Cons ==

* More overhead in metadata (difficult for unstable network connections) (see 
* More complexity when installing and updating packages
* More work for packagers 

= What I've done so far =

I've split the packages on a per-app basis (based on the Specs for F11). So 
for each binary of a KDE package there is a new subpackage. The subpackages 
are named this way: <kdepackage>-<binary> (eg. kdegraphics-okular). Where 
necessary there is also a dependent -libs package (eg. kdegraphics-okular-
libs). Commonly used files (such as icons) and files that (may be) used by all 
subpackages are located in a -common subpackage (eg. kdegraphics-common). 
Commonly used libraries are located in a common-libs subpackage (kdegraphics-

The work done yet is in a very early stage. The focus was on making the 
initial split to see how it works. The %summary and %descriptions for the new 
subpackages needs to be added and I've also left out a proper %changelog for 
now (just increased the %release). Also the upgrade path for packages which 
don't have a -common-libs subpackage needs to be done.

However, if someone wants to have a look a the specs:

= Abstract =

* <kdepackage>-<binary> contains only one application (eg. kdegraphics-okular)
* <kdepackage>-<binary> provides <binary> (eg. kdegraphics-okular provides 
* <kdepackage>-<binary>-libs contains dependant libraries for multilib (eg. 
* <kdepackage>-common contains files used by all subpackages (such as icons)
* <kdepackage>-common-libs contains libraries used by all subpackages (when 
* <kdepackage> is just a metapackage which requires all subpackages. (so you 
just get the normal kdegraphics when installing kdegraphics) 

= Variations =

Splitting could also be done in different ways. Some of them would be:

* Do not split on a per-app-basis but on a "popular" basis (eg. the -extras 
subpackages with not so popular applications like we've done in late KDE3 
* Leave a monolithic -libs subpackage and do not split out the application 
libraries (eg. no kdegraphics-okular-libs) 

= Metadata =

The metadata would increase when adding more subpackages. This could be 
difficult for unstable network connections because they had to download more 
metadata (for each update we do). The following sizes are based on a split of 
kdegames, kdegraphics, kdemultimedia, kdenetwork, kdepim, kdeutils.

* modularized KDE (484K): 

168K    filelists.sqlite.bz2
140K    filelists.xml.gz
28K     other.sqlite.bz2
12K     other.xml.gz
96K     primary.sqlite.bz2
32K     primary.xml.gz
4,0K    repomd.xml

* non-modularized KDE (368K): 

152K    filelists.sqlite.bz2
132K    filelists.xml.gz
12K     other.sqlite.bz2
4,0K    other.xml.gz
44K     primary.sqlite.bz2
16K     primary.xml.gz
4,0K    repomd.xml
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