Friday, July 08, 2005

Shouting obscenities and Error Messages

Mandriva is greatly enhanced by urmpi and more so when combined with the repositories listed on EasyUrpmi. If you haven't got plf repositories listed, you are definitely missing a lot. A side feature of using EasyUrpmi is that you can set the main repository, thereby eliminating the need to have the CDs or DVD around when ever you install stuff. As a desktop OS, you will install a lot of stuff.
Suddenly, things got slower during installs, often failing. There are no clues other than messages saying that some packages cannot be installed due to missing keys and that some packages are corrupted. Checked the name of the package. Correct. Checked rpm.pbone. Correct. Tried restoring missing keys. Trouble is, they weren't missing to begin with.
And it goes on for some time. Sometimes I get to install. Other times I don't. So I tried updating the repository indexes. Some are successful, other times, it just hangs, requiring a kill.
Fortunately, I have another desktop at home. Faster. I am the only one using the Internet connection. Everything I tried installing, worked. Even stuff that didn't work.. at work. Then I realised that the PC at work kept hanging when I tried updating the indexes. So I do what I normally do when trying to figure stuff out. I break it down.
Tried a few indexes at first. But ultimately it all worked. All indexes from repositories that have their contents updated, that is. So I tried updating the index from the repository that is not supposed to change, main. It failed spectacularly. So that was the problem. The repository was no longer where it was. A quick visit to EasyUrpmi fixed that. Deleted the main repository, found another one and added it back with the command generated by EasyUrpmi.
Which says a lot about error messages. Error messages are a must. It tells us when things are wrong. More importantly, it tells us what is wrong so that it can be fixed. When errors messages don't tell me what it wrong, it might as well be shouting obscenities alone.

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