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Re: tasksel

[joey: your message was cc'ed to debian-boot@kitenet.net .... ]

> * View the info for task-laptop on an 80 column screen and you see:
>   xName: task-laptop                                                      
>   xDescription:                                                             
>   xThis is a collection of tools that laptop users will expect to find on
>   xa
>   xsystem.
> I'm afraid your word-wrapping isn't quite right. You need to collapse the
> "\n" between "a" and "system" to a space.

Unfortunately, this is not that straightforward. In a way, it's a standard
word wrapping problem. We have packages with descriptions like this:

some long text that might wrap
o bulleted item 1
o bulleted item 2

Using your algorithm would result in mangled text that is difficult to read.
If you can suggest a way around this, i'd be happy to fix it.

> * Fatal error encountered at slangui.c:92
>   Sorry, tasksel needs a terminal with at least 70 columns and 20 rows
> Woah, that's bad, because IIRC installing onto a Mac IIc you have about
> 40x25. (Don't take my word on this; can anyone verify that?)

40 columns?! OK, I can change it.. it probably shouldn't die with the screen
size change anyway, and only complain on startup. It's really more an
aesthetic issue than anything else. tasksel probably works with all screens
bigger than about 6x6.

> * Since all the tasks start with "task-", it'd be nice to remove it from
> them in the display. It'd also be nice if the short descriptions all started
> at a consistent column on the screen.

added to my todo list. I also need to implement scrolling.

> * It'd be a nice plus if instead of just moving the cursor, there were a
> highlight bar.

my worry is that it will not be usable on b/w monitors if we use highlight
bars. there's also a feeble attempt on my part to provide "accessibility"
features in tasksel, which is one reason i keep the cursor visible. in the
grand scheme of things, it was probably not a good decision. I will do some
experimenting with alternative highlighting strategies and see what works

> * I don't know if reading /var/lib/dpkg/available is going to work, because 
> apt-get update doesn't update the available file (arguably, this is a bug in
> apt't design..) You might do better to link with libapt and use libapt's
> functions for looking up data on packages.

indeed i was worried about that. We could run 'apt-cache dumpavail >!
/var/lib/dpkg/available' before running tasksel.... The problem with libapt
is that it is a c++ library. i am not sure how much bigger a c++ version of
of tasksel would be. moreover, libapt has a 3-4 meg memory footprint. I am
not sure if that's such a good idea for a simple program like tasksel. maybe
i'm just optimizing the wrong things.... :)

thanks for the feedback
Debian Developer <tausq@debian.org>

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