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NI Package Management Idea Exchange
Post your ideas that are related to NI package management. This includes NI Package Manager, NI Package Builder, creating NI packages (.nipkg), distributing NI packages (.nipkg), managing feeds, and more.
As I have come to using NI Package Manager (NIPM) more, I have come across a few user experience issues that need to be improved for NIPM. This is mostly centered around downgrading package version. Most of these are currently available in VI Package Manager
For installed packages, you cannot downgrade/change versions of the package. To do this, you must first uninstall the package so you can select the version you want from the Packages screen. (Installed packages are removed from the Packages screen's listing.) There should be at least an option to show the installed packages on the Packages screen so a new version can be selected. It would not hurt to have the ability to select version(s) on the Installed and Updates as well.
On the Updates screen, we should be able to select the available versions if there multiple upgrades available.
If you install a package that requires a downgrade in a dependency, currently NIPM does not let you install that package. It can be down via the NIPKG command line interface (CLI). There should be at least an option/prompt to allow the downgrade. This capability seems to be able to be added by NI as I was prompted to Allow Downgrade/Removal when I updated InstrumentStudio last year. Our packages should be able to do this prompting as well. At least there could be an option added to NIPM that would allow downgrades/uninstalls so that this could be done via the GUI. Also the dialog could give more information about what specifically the issue is.
Let's say you have a really busy day and you need to test an application, but you need to install the LabVIEW or any other application like Test stand, for example, you go to your computer and use the Package Manager to install it. Then you have to go to another office, meanwhile, you let Package Manager take care of the installation that takes around 4-5 hours.
When you are back ready to run that test you found that there is an error saying that you have not stored available to install the software, and you wonder why NIPM did not check that requirement? There are literally thousands of software that have always performed that check before the installation some of then show a warning or they simply do not allow to start the installation. We really need this on NIPM.
Because I have the situation below posted in the forums, I thought it would be a great improvement to down-rev a package without first having to un-install said package and end up removing packages that list the subject as a dependency. That way if I ran into an issue with an update, I could easily revert to the previous package without affecting any other packages.
When you add folder in NI Package Builder it add all the files included. It can be usefull to remove automatically somes files or folder with filters.
Just to give some examples. I have to include some Python Script. Python is generating *.pyc files in _pycache_ folder. If I have the ability to exclude automatically a list of extension file, or file/folder of list based on regular expressio, it can be very usefull.
My source code is under SVN source code control. When you selet a folder, it populates also hidden folder. So it adds my ".svn" folder.
Add ability to exclude hidden folder and have the first filter will help me better manage my files to distribute. This can be added to the propoerty page of the input folder.
I've been informed by NI support that current versions of LabVIEW can only be installed silently by installing Package Manager first and then using batch scripts for installation. Previous versions of labview supported silent installation using typical msiexec flags. The current tool, INSTALL.EXE only supports a passive switch which requires an interactive gui for it to successfully run an installer with application options other that the Package Manager. This is far from an ideal situation for mass deployment to computer labs and it ends up causing a waste of time and effort. Please add silent installation options to install.exe and add the ability for INSTALL.EXE to show installation parameters when it is passed some sort of common help parameter (such as --help, -h, -? ).
It would be very helpful to be able have an option to only repair the selected package. Typically the issue I have been seeing is with a single package that failed a post-install/post-install all action. Repair will go all they way back the hierarchy, which is unneeded in this case and take much longer leading to additional down time. They should be able to just repair the single package; the default being the current full hierarchy repair is fine, but there must be an option. The workaround of uninstalling and reinstalling the package is also problematic as mentioned in several other issues, since you are forced to uninstall all packages that depend on this package.
Meanwhile, many packages are available in more than one format - e.g. NIPKG, VIPackage, GPM package.
However, if I install package A with VIPM, and package B depends on it, but I try to use NIPM, I'll see I have a "missing" dependency.
Worse, if I now install 'package A' with NIPM, (assuming the packages are equivalent) both systems will believe I have the package installed, but uninstalling from either won't affect the other (leading to broken code).
Could NIPM gain the ability to allow specifying dependencies on non-nipkg packages?
This could be either via specific other package managers that could be checked (VIPM, GPM?) or perhaps via some "pre-install dependency scanner" VI.
In the former case, perhaps I could list "PackageA|VIPM::PackageA" as the dependency.
In the latter case, I as the developer of B could write a VI which checks some details (e.g. existence of specific VIs on disk, or call into VIPM/GPM, etc), and then output a boolean indicating if I (the package B developer) believed my dependency on "PackageA|VIPM::PackageA" (by package name) was satisfied. (In this case, I'd probably just give the dependency as "PackageA" though...)
I think this would be useful especially when sharing code more widely.
I don't expect that this idea would cover searching for packages in other managers' repositories though - if it fails whatever "is currently installed?" test, and can't be sourced from NIPKG feeds, then the install should give the current dialog (missing PackageA).
I'd like a way of "blacklisting" an NIPM package, even if it's in a feed and selected for install For example, I could register the feed for the package "ni-labview-2020-core-x86-en" and also want to install all of the recommended packages (using the --include-recommended flag), except for one. Let's say for some reason I don't want Report Gen Toolkit, for example.
The only option I can currently come up with is installing LabVIEW 2020 without any of it's recommended packages, then installing all of the recommended packages separately, except omitting RGTK. It would be really great if there was a command to simply prevent RGTK from ever installing, even when using the "--include-recommended" argument.
Please allow a user to see which package(s) that were manually selected lead to the automatic removal of each package in the "will be automatically removed" list.
If you select some packages to remove, sometimes the uninstall dialog lists a collection of packages that depend on something you've selected.
These must also be removed if you want to remove whatever you selected (so as not to leave them broken).
However, if I select a collection of packages to remove, and see something in this list I want to retain, it can be difficult to see which package I should remove from my selection (after pressing cancel) in order to not trigger the removal of the package I want to retain.
recent installation of SPB2019 from an offline installer package (due to poor connection) in my new machine has included a malfunctioned LM (constantly fail to connect server), and solution provided was to remove and reinstall the LM. Upon the initiation of the removal, NIPM removed all installed license-able (but yet to be activated software) software from my machine... with no possible way to stop the process... the HORROR on my face is no less than this guy here =>
can I suggest LM removal to remove the LM and activated licenses only; rather than all the other un-selected, but license-able software?
I want to distribute my packages with a specific feed. This can be very usefull to distribute application to customer and push updates. But if we use a specific feed, it's not straightforward. We can use the nipkg CLI command to add/remove the feed but it's not so easy to deploy to customer. It's often more easy to request IT to let NI Package Manager to have Admin right than to allow bat file for example.
So my idea is to give ability to install a package that also register the feed. After install the package, it can have access to updates more easily. If he uninstall the package it can interresting to unregister the feed. In this way, it can be also easy to update the feed by pushing an update of the package.
Note : I tried to do it with pre and post install command without success.
I'd like to be able to select a collection of nipkg files in e.g. Windows Explorer and use NIPM to install them in the correct order based on their interdependencies.
If I create a local feed and add that, then NIPM will allow this via selection in the Packages tab.
However, there doesn't seem to be a method to select multiple files that are not in a feed using a GUI (Windows Explorer or NIPM etc).
VIPM has an "Open Package File(s)" menu item that fills this role.
I think (although I didn't test, because I didn't consider this when I was running into this issue) that using "nipkg.exe install A.nipkg B.nipkg C.nipkg" would work for this, so there is a workaround. I just didn't consider it earlier...
In the following example, the Depends attribute declares a dependency on package01 version 2.2.1 or later, and states that package03 is an alternative package that satisfies the dependency on package02. Depends: package01 (>= 2.2.1), package02 | package03
However, it doesn't indicate which package will be (automatically) installed if both package02 and package03 are available in feeds, and neither is installed.
If the first is always the chosen package, can this please be clarified in documentation?
If the order does not determine the package (but instead it depends on the feed, etc) could this either be
a) changed to order, or
b) clarified in documentation along with some manner to manipulate the preference?