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filtering packages


recently somebody started up a great debate and suggested that any
non-usable packages should go in another section (I will assume he is
talking about unstable here). Sorry, I didn't get a chance to read the
entire thread in detail, I have been away for the last 3 weeks.

Somebody suggested the use of a tesk package. However, the problem
with the task package, is that the task package only states "what must
be installed". It can't state "what the user is not interested in".


Add new headers in the package, eg

usability: testing

where testing could be one of
testing - only meant for testing, not end users.
low - might be OK for end-users, not sure.
high - definitely ok for end users
superseded - only should be installed for backward compatibility.

the have some sort of filter that invokes when typing "apt-get update"
or "dselect update" that filters the package list before installing, eg

usability: \(low\|testing\)

would only install the information on packages that have these values
of interest. Other headers could be done in a similar way (eg a user
might not be interested in any development files). Not sure who
upgrades of already installed packages and dependencies would work

I haven't thought about this in any detail, but think it might be a
good idea, as it lets the system administrator make these decisions.
Brian May <bam@debian.org>

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