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Re: APT [was Re: Is this really the right thing to do?]

--On Thu, Dec 3, 1998 11:50 am +1100 "Craig Sanders" <cas@taz.net.au> wrote:

>> > if you want to automatically remove packages which are no longer
>> > needed by other packages, then surely the correct thing to do is to
>> > have a (separate) tool which analyses the dependancy information and
>> > outputs a list of packages which have no dependancies, optionally
>> > offering a choice of removing them or not.
>> This is not feasible.  Most packages are not needed by other packages.
>> This tool would spit out a list of (almost) every non-library package
>> on the system.
> a command called grep can deal with this. we have a package naming
> convention that library packages begin with "lib". if a lib package
> fails to comply with policy then file a bug report.

lib packages are not the only sort which can be depend:ed upon, and hence
automatically installed.

>> The only way to keep this list reasonable is to be able to
>> differentiate which ones were installed explicitly and which ones were
>> installed to satisfy a dependency.  The only (reasonable) way to make
>> this differentiation is to have apt keep track of it.
> i guess i just don't see much value in making that distinction, because
> I don't ever want packages to be automatically uninstalled from my
> system....i chose to install something, so i should be the one to chose
> to uninstall it.


But, with apt's automatic dependency satisfying mechanism, you *don't*
choose to install something.  So therefore you shouldn't need to explicitly
choose to un-install it.

If you have installed something by hand, then it will not be automatically
uninstalled.  This is the whole point of the proposal.

> IMO this is particularly important for library packages - i may have
> some script or program in /usr/local which will be broken if a library
> package gets un-installed automatically.

So, you use the UI to mark it as 'wanted', to avoid the auto-removal.  Or
you install it specifically yourself, in which case it isn't even a
candidate for auto-removal.

>> > mostly, though, i can't see the point. what harm does it do to have
>> > a few extra libraries installed on a system? it's not like they
>> > actually cause any problems if they aren't used.
>> The benefits of the proposed change expand beyond just cleaning up of
>> crufty libraries.  Easy package grouping is a side benefit.
> huh?  aren't our packages grouped now?

Not in the sense of 'meta-packages', no.


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