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Re: Suggestion for change to debian package format

I assume that most of the dependences are going to be librarys, mybe it
could be possible to have dpkg purge out any librarys that don't have
anything depending on them. (or mybe some debian person could come up with
some cmd line option for dpkg to do this :).

// Ben Farrell (BigBadBen)

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Phillips <mark@ist.flinders.edu.au>
To: debian-user@lists.debian.org <debian-user@lists.debian.org>;
debian-devel@lists.debian.org <debian-devel@lists.debian.org>
Date: 29 March 1999 09:17
Subject: Suggestion for change to debian package format

>The debian package format is very nice and quite sophisticated, but I
>feel it lacks in one area.  Let me illustrate.
>Suppose I want to install a number of major application packages.  In
>the process of selecting them, dselect tells me, or suggests to me,
>that I install a number of other packages.  Over time, my system
>builds up a whole range of installed packages, many only there as a
>result of a dependency or suggestion.
>Now what happens when later I decide that I no longer need a certain
>package.  I remove the package --- but unless I'm very dilligent, I
>don't remove all the packages that this package depends on or
>suggests.  So after time, the system builds up quite a number of
>packages which are installed for no good reason.  That is, they were
>once installed in order to support some other package, but now that
>package is removed and so they serve no purpose.  All they do is take
>up disk space, and for some (like me), space is a premium.
>Now to go through all the installed packages and work out which are in
>this category and which aren't is quite a difficult and laborious
>task.  I would like to suggest that a small change be made to the
>debian package format so that dselect or apt could do this for us.  At
>the moment you can mark a package for "install", "remove", "hold" etc.
>I suggest the "install" option be broken into two new options, namely
>"major install" and "minor install" with the following meanings:
>"major install": you definately want to install this package
>"minor install": you want to install this package provided it is needed
>  by a major installed package --- if ever this is no longer true, you want
>  it removed.
>Perhaps there is a better solution, but this is the one I thought of.
>What do people think?
>        "They told me I was gullible ... and I believed them!"
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