Recently, ffmpeg2.8 has been dropped to AUR, probably because it conflicted with the new x265 version. The update introducing this lead to a message telling the user about the conflict. For an experienced user this is enough information to do a quick research, figure out that ffmpeg2.8 has been dropped to AUR, remove (or rebuild?) it.
For an unexperienced user, however, this is a problem which is hard to handle. By “inexperienced user” I mean people like my >60 years old father who otherwise is able to use Manjaro and keep it updated but is absolutely confused by a situation like the package conflict described above.
Also note that the problem arises not due to the discouraged AUR usage but also hits the well-behaved users who haven’t the AUR enabled.
I would propose the following handling of such an issue:
- Check if an update leads to a conflict.
- Check if this is due to a package which is installed but not available through the repos (that is, only available from the AUR).
- Check if the conflicting AUR package has been installed explicitly by the user.
- Check if the conflicting AUR package can be safely removed without removing any other package which has been explicitly installed by the user.
- If all checks are positive, propose the conflicting package for removal (I assume that this would apply to a large percentage of users). If check 4 is negative, show some horrifying message listing the packages which were explicitly installed by the user and would be removed together with the conflicting package. If the user chooses to keep the conflicting package: If a rebuild would solve the problem, offer the rebuild.
In short: Give the user more information on the conflict in place and propose different ways of handling it.
Are there some obstacles with such a mechanism? How hard would it be to implement it? I think, reducing package conflicts during updates would be a great step towards making Manjaro even more beginner-friendly than it already is.