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Re: Why 2 inconsistent package managers frontents?

Jason Gunthorpe wrote:
> Oh come on, there are lots of ways to query the database, dpkg
> --print-avail is the *least* useful of the lot. 

And yet still one of the most used.

> If you are using APT then you have a whole battery of functions to get
> available information, all of which are faster and better than what is 
> offered through the available file.
> There are exactly two reasons to support it:
>   1) To support dselect, which is already done through [U]pdate, just like
>      every other dselect method
>   2) To support other programs that try to directly query the available
>      file [bad in the first place], or use 'dpkg --print-avail'

3) Because a large number of books, documentation files, and mailing
   list posts refer to dpkg --print-avail it, and so it is what a new user
   is going to encounter and try to use first. And when it doesn't work ...

> > A Debian system without a populated available file is a crippled
> > Debian system.
> Bullocks.

... they'll disagree with you on this.

> IMHO the whole available/status scheme was poorly thought out and has
> never been adaquate for APT. IMHO any tool written in the past serveral
> years should be able to use, and prefer, the APT interface rather than the
> dpkg one for available information. The fact that apt-get does not update
> the available file should have made this obvious. 

Well I think a lot of us just thought this was some weird unimplemented
corner of apt. After all, where is the documentation that says apt
was intended to break the available file?

> This will become increasingly important in the future, the latest CVS code
> has the 10 lines necessary to *select the available version* and APT GUI's
> are starting to implement and use that feature.
> Basically that means there is no such thing as a static available file. 
> The version selections can change after every run of any APT tool. This
> was always the long term goal for the APT suite.

You know, I'm really looking forward to being able to tell apt to go use
unstable for a minute and then flip back to frozen. That'll be great.

> I've always said people who want this should be using 'dselect update',
> but I would be willing to add a post-update hook that would allow people
> to update the available file automatically, if they wish.

Please do.

see shy jo

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