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Re: Suggestion for change to debian package format

Mark Phillips wrote:
> [snip nice suggestion] 

This has already been discussed and is being addressed in apt.
Here's how it will work (if I understand correctly):

Apt will keep a boolean flag called 'Auto' for each package installed
on your system.  'Auto' is short for 'Automatically uninstall this
package when it is not required anymore because of a dependency'.

So, when you install package foo, and apt automatically installs
libfoo1 and libfoo2 because they are required by foo, then they will
be marked with the 'Auto' flag.  Later, if you deinstall foo, then apt
will also deinstall libfoo1 and libfoo2, provided they are no longer
needed by any other packages.

This also allows you to easily have groups of packages.  For example,
you can have a "Gnome" package that depends on all the various libraries
and packages required by gnome.  Later, if you decide the gnome sucks,
you can just uninstall the "Gnome" meta-package and all the other unused
libs and packages will go away as well.

Please note that both the automatic marking of packages as 'Auto' and
the automatic removal of 'Auto' packages will be a configurable option
in apt, so you won't be stuck with this behavior.  Also, you will be
able to toggle the 'Auto' flag directly from any of the apt front-ends.

Is that what you were looking for?


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