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Re: RFC: Keywords instead of Section

  (please Cc followups to dburrows@cs.brown.edu, as my
primary email is only available via this nasty Web
client for me right now)

> The following subject has repeatedly been discussed during the last
> years. I still feel obliged to bring it up again, as it fizzled.

  Unfortunately, I kept putting it off and then my computer
broke :(  Thank goodness for DWN, or I'd have missed your

  Several months ago, I added support for better
package classification to aptitude.  To try it out,
select "Browse Packages By Category" from the Views menu.
(this uses a different, experimental display mode -- use the "hier" grouping policy to see it in the normal expandable tree style)

  The idea is quite similar to your suggestion, except that:

(a) It is hierarchical, so the number of items on the screen
    at any one time is manageable.
(b) It uses external datafiles, so we don't have to change
    the archive, and you can (theoretically) use 
(c) It is implemented in a package manager available in the
    Debian archive.
(d) The implementation is generic -- someone else should
    be able to fairly easily lift the code into their own
(e) Mostly-complete data sets exist for it.
    Don't underestimate the difficulty of categorizing
    6000+ (and counting) packages!  My sample categorization
    leaves out a lot of packages, and is not particularly
    deeply thought-about, and it still took me literally
    weeks, working a few hours a day on it, to get the
    data made.  (part of this was that I spent some time
    working on getting the tools right, but..)

  The one major problem (aside from the fact that it's not 
as general as some people [0] would like) is that the
current implementation is VERY slow.  Patches to fix this are welcome...uh...as soon as I get a new power supply, anyway.

  I've attached README.hier from the aptitude source.
  Look in src/generic for the implementation and a sample program using it.


  [0] Take a look at Eray's ontology stuff for an example of
an idea that will be cool if anyone ever manages to
implement it.

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