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Re: [equinox-dev] [prov] Ruminations on IDirector vs. ProvisioningHelper-like entity

Perhaps we should agree on some workflows/user types that can drive this discussion.

-  Simple: For simple users/flows there are not that many choices.  They say they want to use Foo and the Director and friends determine if all prereqs are available.  Either they are or they are not.  If the request is possible, they'd probably like to know if it is time to: a) take a bite of a donut, b) go get some coffee, c) have a bio break with that, d) head out for lunch or e) go home.   If the request is not possible, it can be suggested that the user go off and find another repo that knows about the missing bits but beyond that they are SOL.  We have searched the known universe and come up empty handed.  There is also a conflict case where installing Foo is possible but only if Bar is changed/removed.  This gets a bit advanced for these users.  A very carefully worded simple question needs to be asked (e.g., "How much do you want to use Foo?  Rank on a scale from life threatening to I thought it might be interesting")

- Moderate: In more advanced cases users say they want to use Foo and are happy to have the system figure stuff out but once things are ready to go, they want to snoop and have veto power.  They want to know "why".  These are the "backseat Directors" or, for those of you with kids, "Four-year-old Directors".  These are dangerous people.  They want to know everything but at the same time, don't want to have to know everything.  They are pissed off by known unknowns and when they do know something they want to be able to change it.

- Advanced:  Like the moderate users, advanced users are curious and somewhat controlling.  The difference is that they are more receptive to button clicks and work.  They really do want to see exactly why version X was choosen to when they know repo Y is so much more cool, why artifact A is coming from repo W, ....  These people are like driving instructors.  They are there with you in the car and have a duplicate set of controls and that funky rear-view mirror.  They can take over at the drop of a hat.

- Extreme:  Then there are the extreme power users.  For them, no amount of control is too much.  They want to BE the Director and Engine.  We should just open an XML editor and let them craft the messages that are sent back and forth ;-)  

So what does this all have to do with the current discussion.  Well, IMHO the M2 user should be Simple.  They need a bit of feedback on what's going on but for the most part no news is good news.  Computing the size/time requirements seem like the most pressing matter.  I wonder if this is something we can do with a sort of "dry run" where the director and engine do their thing to figure out exactly what "would" happen but stop short of actually doing it.  The UI can then interrogate the results to see how much download there was, time that would have been needed, ... and report that to the user.

This is not to say that the planning object discussed is not needed but rather the information it provides is more useful in the moderate to advanced usecases.  Other scenarios that will need this kind of function are editing (validation, checking, ...), sys admin operations (simulate, validate designs/jobs) etc.  I agree with Tim that we should look to separate out the building blocks needed to implement these functions.  


p.s., not sure quite how useful any of this was but it was kinda fun to write...

"Tim Webb" <tim@xxxxxxxxxx>
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08/14/2007 09:00 PM

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Re: [equinox-dev] [prov] Ruminations on IDirector vs.        ProvisioningHelper-like entity

Sounds good.  So if we can have an Oracle that returns a ProvisioningDeltaDescription or whatnot that describes the various actions that would be performed.  By having this as another object, we can provide additional services to help describe in a human-readable format the operation as well as in machine-understable styles to allow serialization.  What would the input to such a function be?  Would you still use a full Profile or would you use a ProfileDescription object that can be accessed off of a Profile?  Having it as a separate object may also again further user-understandable descriptions of the interface.


On 8/14/07, Pascal Rapicault <Pascal_Rapicault@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
If only we could have a console as a UI... I'm really amazed by the
requirements the UI put ;-)
I agree that it is interesting / mandatory to be able to show disk space
and things like that, however ProvisioningOperand is wrong thing to base a
UI on since it contains the information to drive an engine and this will
likely be more detailed than what we have now (Simon is working on a new
API for the engine).

As for the code code, the oracle I have in mind will share code with the
director to ensure consistency.

            "Tim Webb"
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            08/14/2007 05:32                                      Subject
            PM                        Re: [equinox-dev] [prov]
                                      Ruminations on IDirector vs.
                                      ProvisioningHelper-like entity
            Please respond to
              mailing list


I could see a benefit to knowing the full set of operations since some
users don't want their system changed without understanding the impact.
More importantly, it is interesting to be able to show users information
such as the amount of data that will be downloaded as a result of X, being
able to calculate needed disk space before performing the operation, and
letting the user know that selecting that one little feature caused 200mb
of extra stuff to be included.

The issue I see is that a lot of the interesting information ends up
following many of the same paths that are currently used in the Director.
Instead of duplicating that code into another object called an Oracle,
might it make sense to pull some of that logic out of the Director into a
shared object?  Whether it's called an Oracle or not, I think there should
be one set of code that determines the set of operations to be performed,
and I don't believe that we need to duplicate that logic.


On 8/14/07, Pascal Rapicault <
Pascal_Rapicault@xxxxxxxxxx > wrote:

 It seems to me that what you are after if some kind of "oracle" who given
 profile, a bunch of IUs selected by the user, and repos would be able to
 tell which IU can be added to the profile.
 Unfortunately the "oracle" is not implemented. but something could
 be done quickly based on the code available in the director.

 Also would you want to show to the end user what will happen?


              Susan M Franklin
              < susan_franklin@u
s.ibm.com >
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              08/14/2007 03:46          Re: [equinox-dev] [prov]
              PM                        Ruminations on IDirector vs.
                                        ProvisioningHelper-like entity

              Please respond to
                mailing list
              < equinox-dev@ecli

 I have the same concerns/questions as you pose here, you are just a day
 so ahead of me....I am beginning to work on the UI that follows more of
 update manager workflow in Eclipse.  The admin UI in M1 forced you to
 locate the IU you wanted and then select a profile.  The more typical use
 case, where you are looking to install/update from your profile, is my
 task.  I've had the same low level concern (but had not yet investigated
 the code thoroughly) that you have to ask the code to do something before
 you can know what will be done.  I was wondering if the fact that you get
 pre and post notification events was going to help me, but I don't think

 So I'm hoping Pascal or someone can elaborate on this issue, as I'm about
 to face it myself and will have more to contribute to this conversation
 a day or so....

 >Currently the IDirector interface has two methods : install and
 In looking through the code of ProvisioningHelper and IDirector
 (SimpleDirector) I'm not sure as to the right way to >describe to the
 the series of operations that would be performed in installing software X

 prior to actually initiating the installation.  I could duplicate similar
 code to what is found in >SimpleDirector using the ProfileInstallRegistry
 and DependencyExpander to determine what would be required

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