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Re: Announcing Debian Package Tags

On Mon, Apr 28, 2003 at 12:30:54PM -0400, Colin Walters wrote:
> Further, I'd like to add a new tag to the vocabulary for use with Debian
> Desktop; this tag would reflect the overall "specialization" of the
> package.  A lot of packages in Debian are highly specialized,
> interesting only to a relatively small percentage of our users; the
> bioinformatics stuff is a good example.  So I am thinking of something
> like this:
> specialization::high
> specialization::medium
> specialization::low

I would hope that rather than such generic terms, one could specify more
specific tags for highly specialized packages and have these tags imply a
certain degree of specialization.  So this way a user interested in a
specific specialization would be able to browse


I think this should work, since any specialized package must be specific to
some field (or fields).  So mpb (which I use) might show up under physics
and engineering.

> Basically I would want the Debian Desktop distribution to mainly include
> "general-appeal" sort of software.  Also, a tag to reflect the expected
> user experience level for a piece of software might be be nice.  This
> overlaps a little with the specialization.  Say:
> userlevel::novice
> userlevel::expert

Again, I would hope that a less general tagging of packages could be
achieved, with the user level inferred from more specific tags.  For
example, it would be nice to have tags indicating the style of user
interface a package supports.  I imagine something like

userlevel::novice = !specialized && (interface::gui || interface::curses)

where you'd probably want to include other tags that I haven't thought of.
The only practical way I could see defining the userlevel of packages would
be in terms of such a definition anyways, and this would make it easier to
customize the definitions for meta-distributions (e.g. maybe you wouldn't
consider any text interface to be novice-friendly--although this would make
you leave out aptitude, which seems like a bad idea--on the other hand for
a novice with noone handy to help them out, even aptitude would be

I guess what I'm getting at is that I think that the tags should be as
simple and obvious as possible, leaving more subtle distinctions as derived
tags wherever possible.  The tags that are applied directly should be as
obvious as possible, so that when reading the tag description anyone
familiar with a given package will always give the same answer.  Of course,
this is the job of the tag task force, so maybe I should leave it up to
David Roundy

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