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Re: New sections? (was Re: StarOffice source to be GPL'ed)

On Sat, 05 Aug 2000 21:53:09 Marcus Brinkmann wrote:
> I am not sure. With 4000 packages, they just don't scale anymore.
> And it is hard to pick good sections that don't overlap and cover all
> packages. Have you ever thought about the sections we use? What is "misc"?
> What is "utils"? Is rplay in net or in sound? And why isn't it in the
> other? Do you think net is a superset of web and comm? Where do you put your
> documentation packages? Some are in the same package as the software, some
> in doc.

The thing is sections are thought of as part of implementation. For instance
they correspond to the ftp archive directories. Of course
that is plain wrong. On this list, I'd suggested that a more advanced
indexing scheme be investigated. In particular I'd offered employing part-of
and type-of hierarchies to specify an object-oriented decomposition of the
debian package mayhem. Either nobody read it beacuse it sounded serious,
or people are not akin to "designing things first" here.

I wish to resuggest it here, that an object-oriented, multiply-inherited,
package indexing will facilitate much better user interfaces. Package
indexing or "classification" is orthogonal to package versioning and sectioning.

Since there's no tool that will do it for us yet, (No NLP program can examine
package descriptions and contents and come up with a suitable "ontology" of
programs in the distribution) the only *correct* means is to *formalize* the
kinds and functionalities offered by programs. In that respect, a program
may be a "network" program, be an IRC client, be a "GNOME" program at the same
time. A graph based package navigation tool could then easily identify
the set of packages that a user might be interested in.

A more lengthy proposal lies in the ruins of this mailing list, however
if interest arises I'll be more than happy to discuss and to contribute
to potential implementations.

I hope some people take a little time to think about this. Just imagine
how brain-dead every package UI in debian is (and the winner is GNOME APT!!),
and give it a second chance before you forget about it.


Eray Ozkural

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