Grant McWilliams grantmasterflash at
Fri Jul 18 08:57:16 PDT 2008

> That's a common misconception.  The reason I developed Smart was precisely
> because there weren't (and there aren't) any other tools able to do
> what it does.
> But that wasn't done with world domination intentions.  I'm a software
> developer/architect that really enjoy these areas.  Smart wasn't built as a
> form
> of getting funds.  If people take the ideas from Smart and put it in their
> own
> tools in a better way, Smart is succeeding in its purpose too.
> --
> Gustavo Niemeyer

This is an interesting thing and probably very wise. I've liked APT for the
most part but dreaded using Yum because it was so painfully slow  that even
if it could resolve packages properly I still wouldn't have used it. We
don't even want to talk about Suses packages managers from the 10.1, 10.2
and 10.3 eras. However in trying to find out why Yum used variables in it's
repo files I joined the Yum list and they were exclaiming about Yums new
speed increase. Curious I tried it and they're right, Yum is no longer a

I did a test to install of Thunar and it's dependencies from the Yum mirrors
using yum-3.2.8-9 and smart-0.52-1. Installing Thunar also brought in 9
other packages which needed to be downloaded. After each successful install
I deleted the cached rpms and used the same package manager to remove the
packages. This is not a lab based scientific experiment but I still think
you can see how the gap has narrowed.

Test 1: time smart install -y Thunar   - 55 seconds
Test 2: time smart remove libxfce4util xfce4-icon-theme libxfcegui4
libxfce4mcs mousepad exo xfce-mcs-manager Terminal xfce4-panel Thunar -y  -
10 seconds
Test 3: time yum install -y Thunar  - 38 seconds
Test 4: time yum remove libxfce4util xfce4-icon-theme libxfcegui4
libxfce4mcs mousepad exo xfce-mcs-manager Terminal xfce4-panel Thunar -y -
14 seconds

I repeated these four tests three more times and smarts install time varied
between 28 seconds to 55. Yums varied between 38 and 43. Uninstall times for
smart held right at 10 seconds and for yum varied between 11 and 14 seconds.

Yum isn't faster than smart but it's no longer slower either. I still think
there are times when smart would better it because of it's ability to be
downloading from more than one mirror at a time. So if one mirror was really
slow I think Yum would fall behind.

Also Yum now has a downgrade plugin so it's capable of downgrading packages
if need be. I don't know anything about it nor have I used it to see how
good it is but I'm now aware that it exists.

My application for smart still exists as I only have a port 22 hole through
my firewall to my rpm-md repository but using ssh port forwarding and Yum I
could probably get around that but smart works so I'll keep using it for
now. The idea however, that a built in packages manager would do everything
that smart does is very attractive.

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