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dpkg: Update failures

Dear Debian users,

I found Debian's package management strategy often frustrated me.

Because I'm behind a Wingate, I don't have direct access to http or ftp. Someone suggests set http_proxy and ftp_proxy in /etc/environment, but that seems to be not working. In a word, I cannot find any hostname in a terminal, and apt-get won't work for me. All I do was to manually download all the packages required by dependency and ran `dpkg -i foo.deb baz.deb' and all troubles came as a result.

I tried to upgrade perl5.6, xfree86-4, mozilla-0.8.1, and netscape-4.76, all gave me frustrating experience. Luckily, I worked around the problem of updating xfree86-4 by reinstall the Debian/GNU system without packages that might conflict with xfree86-4. Yes, that's quite expensive. I'm not so lucky with perl5.6, because of circular dependency between perl and debconf. I have to compile perl5.6.1 myself and install it to /usr/local. When I attempted to upgrade mozilla-M18_3 to mozilla-0.8.1 and failed, I made another attempt to install netscape-4.76 and found that failed as well. Now the system was left with some libraries in a mess.

I really hate the circular dependency in Debian packages. That's really frustrating and time-consuming and can render the system in disorder.

Has anybody run into the same problem?

Is there a good way to avoid this?

Suggestions and advice are welcome!

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