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Re: "super" pkgs (was Re: Back to RedHat)

Daniel Martin wrote:

> Michael Stone <mstone@itri.loyola.edu> writes:
> > Quoting Federico Di Gregorio (fog@pcamb6.irfmn.mnegri.it):
> > > Yes. The problem of super-packages is that if you install, say, 20
> > > normal packages by a single "click", you expect to remove them the
> > > same way... Maybe we need to update dpkg/apt anyway...
> > 
> > It wouldn't hurt to add that, but I think it can be done in a compatible
> > manner. That is, new versions of apt could support some kind of removal
> > option, but super packages would still work in older systems.
> I think I've heard this before - basically, that apt should keep track 
> of what has been installed because it was necessary to satisfy
> dependencies and what has been installed and what has been installed
> by explicit user request.

At the risk of repeating myself, last week David Engel wrote:

> The second idea is for dselect (or apt or whatever) to either
> automatically or at least offer to remove packages which haven't been
> explicitly selected by the user when no other installed packages
> depend on them.

To which I replied:

Man, what a *great* idea.

Debian packages would need two levels of selection: 

 - user-specified :  User has selected this package.  It is kept at
                     A lot of such packages could be Super packages
                     mentionned above (C development, LaTeX typesetting,

 - package-specified : Selected from a dependency from a user-specified
                     package (or, recursively, from a package-specified
                     dependency that started from a user-specified
                     Debian package manager would be allowed and encouraged
                     to remove these packages if no user-specified package
                     requires it.

Note that we need an easy way to `upgrage' the status of a
package-specified selection to that of a user-specified one.  I may not
want emacs20 removed if I decide to remove auctex.  I therefore need a
method to notice that emacs20 is not user-specified to to change that.

I can imagine a drag-and-drop package selection tool.  All packages on one
side.  Use picks up a package and drops it on the other side.  It appears
in a normal font because it's user-specified.  At the same time, a bunch of
other packages are moved to the `install' side, but they are shaded.  They
are the package-specified dependencies...

Peter Galbraith, research scientist          <GalbraithP@dfo-mpo.gc.ca>
Maurice Lamontagne Institute, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
P.O. Box 1000, Mont-Joli Qc, G5H 3Z4 Canada. 418-775-0852 FAX: 775-0546
   6623'rd GNU/Linux user at the GNU/Linux Counter -- http://counter.li.org/ 

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