For some people, vacation season is just the right time for housekeeping or for learning new skills. And that’s exactly what the YaST team has been doing in the latest two sprints.

  • We improved some YaST internals including:
    • Management of the Help button in text mode
    • Unmounting of file-systems at the end of installation
    • Handling of progress bars
  • Our users also made YaST better with their contributions
  • The dedicated subset of the YaST Team keeps making progress regarding the Release Tools

Let’s go into the details.

Keeping the YaST Internals in Shape

In the software development world is not uncommon to sweep the dirt under the carpet. If something seems to work from the user point of view, just leave it as it is. But there is no carpet to hide anything when you develop Free Software with an open spirit. And in the YaST Team we simply don’t feel comfortable when we know the pieces under the hood are not really well adjusted. Thus, we invested some of our summer time fixing some internal issues (both real and potential), although none of them currently have visible impact of our users.

  • All YaST screens contain a Help button that shows an explanatory text. But, what happens if there is no such text? It’s a theoretical problem (there is ALWAYS a help text) but the situation in the ncurses text mode really needed a better handling.
  • Unmounting file-systems at the end of the installation process is another of those things that seem to work flawlessly… until you take a look to the YaST logs and find out it used to be an slightly convulted process. But we restructured the component taking care of the process and things now look equally good in the surface and under the hood.
  • The way progress bars are handled in YaST is admitedly error-prone and could result in the user interface crashing in some extreme situations. We also improved that by making the Yast::Progress internal module more robust.

Integrating Community Contributions

Another of the great things of working in an Open Source project is getting contributions from your own users. In that regard, we recently added support for the AFNOR variant of the French keyboard, which was useful to realize we haven’t incorporated such layout to SUSE Linux Enterprise. We did now, so both SLE and openSUSE got better thanks to the openSUSE community. Something that will soon happen also to the YaST Journal module as soon as we merge this other contribution currently under review.

Release Tools: We Keep Learning

And talking about collaboration, in our previous post we told you about our new mission of helping with the development and maintenance of the (open)SUSE Release Tools. We keep working on that front, although progress can only be slow when most of the people we have to interact with (and a big part of the YaST Team itself) is on vacation. Nevertheless, we keep researching possible solutions for the known problems, improving the testing infrastructure and using a test-driven approach to lower the entry barrier for newcomers.

See you soon

The vacation season in Europe is comming to an end, so we hope to have more exciting news for upcoming blog posts. Meanwhile, please keep helping us and having a lot of fun!