Much ado about scripting, Linux & Eclipse: card subject to change


Use Your Metadata, Vol. 2 [Update]

Wednesday I went off on a bit of a G'n'R-fueled rant about metadata, documentation, and the shotgun blues. Today, I'd like to focus on something more positive.

As Pascal blogged the other day, the new p2 is almost done and is ready for tire-kicking. Some new features I personally like include:

  1. a new p2.director app / task, which includes support for installing multiple IUs (feature.groups) in the same step and finally has commandline help
  2. a new p2.repo2runnable ant task, used to convert an update site zip to the old-school unpacked "runnable" features/plugins format so that one day we will be able to throw away all those extra zips.

    UPDATE, 2009-06-02: repo2runnable now works as a commandline application too, thanks to Andrew's fix. Wiki updated.
  3. Composite Repo, Mirroring and Slicing Tasks - haven't tried these yet, but they look like they'll be very handy for one day replacing the hack that is for our Modeling Project composite repos with something more robust and easily maintainable.

I'm also impressed that there is new, current documentation regarding the above tasks, as well on the new Publisher which replaces the Metadata Generator.

Will this release be p2's salvation?

click to zoom

Well, I'm split on the new default behaviour in the update UI, such that when you add a new update site p2 won't by default search ALL your other listed sites. This is a great performance gain if you're installing a new self-contained feature, but a pain if you're installing something like VE which depends on EMF and GEF, and you don't already have those deps installed. Simple workaround is to just pick the "all sites" entry in the dropdown.

I'm also waiting to see if there will be something better done about recovery from slow/incomplete mirrors.

But other than these minor concerns, I'd say YES. With lots more commandline and ant toys available, p2 is certainly maturing. And with more people adopting its use and spinning p2 repo zips, more testing is being done, and more use cases are being covered.

So... get in the ring, and go a few rounds with p2. It's worth the battle. :)


Le ScaL said...

It looks like you have missed the presence of the "contact all update sites during install [...]" check box at the bottom of the page. When this check box is enabled it will search all the sites even though only one is being browsed. Also this check box is enabled by default. So in short your trick to select all sites is not necessary :) If you see otherwise then there maybe something wrong going on and I would appreciate if you could open a bug.

Le ScaL said...

No need of the trick to first select your software and then select "all sites" since the behavior out of the box is for the resolution to search all sites (see the last check box on the left of the dialog) even when you are installing from one.