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"task" and beyond

Please enlighten me :-)

As I understand, Debian currently has 2 extremes for selecting packages
from its huge archives.

 * dselect, aptitude(normal use), apt-get
   - select package by name one-by-one from 8700 packages which is
     growing fast.  (Even with zipping 10 second per package, it takes 
     over 2 hours to check them all.  Absurd.)
   - All packages are searched for dependencies.  (dependency check is
     N^2 problem and started to stress system badly.)
 * tasksel
   - only good for initial settings.  Too rough since choices are only
     30 choices and no way to tune importance of each concern.

My question is is there any activity to address this gap.

My unelucidated thinking is if there is a field in control file which
gives *attribute* of package, it will make things much more easy if
package management tools use them properly.  This is somewhat a
extension of task field.

For example, attribute "dev" may help to auto install all
"recommends" packages of "dev" attribute if the installer is instructed
to behave so.

Another is language support programs.  Attribute "doc" may help
installer to install documentation package or not.  With this we may
eliminate display of such doc packages from selection list.  So
splitting package will not case expansion of list.  By instructing
installer properly, these documentations can be automatically selected
or deselected by the sysadmin's choice.  Now we can have documentation
less lean binary while making it easy to install documentation.  <joke>
Attribute "non-English" may help those pesky l10n packages to be
identified :-) </joke> Or more realistic situation is, we can have auto
install of French support by having "french" attribute on package and
package selector auto select any recommend packages with "french"
attribute if the sysadmin wishes.

Also these tag may have weight associated with them.  Something like
"KDE=10", "KDE=1", .... This way we may be able to ask to install KDE
packages which is core of it or all of them.  Or more realistically,
"game-shoot=10: to install all shoot out games while "game-shoot=1" to
install the best of them.

Also, attribute may include attention getting from QA team.  Or release
criteria (stable release only with bug fix vs. maintainers best efforts
newest stable version). 

.... just a thought and good night.
~\^o^/~~~ ~\^.^/~~~ ~\^*^/~~~ ~\^_^/~~~ ~\^+^/~~~ ~\^:^/~~~ ~\^v^/~~~ +++++
        Osamu Aoki <osamu@debian.org>   Cupertino CA USA, GPG-key: A8061F32
 .''`.  Debian Reference: post-installation user's guide for non-developers
 : :' : http://qref.sf.net and http://people.debian.org/~osamu
 `. `'  "Our Priorities are Our Users and Free Software" --- Social Contract

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