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Re: Annoyances of aptitude (Was: Where are we now?) (Was: Bits from the RM)

Op vr 03-10-2003, om 04:59 schreef Daniel Burrows:
> > Figuring out how to tell aptitude not to automatically delete "unused" packages
> > required reading the User Manual while knowing that this was an issue.
> > 
> > This is on by default, and the information about marking a package
> > "manually selected" or not does not immediately spring to mind as having
> > anything to do with whether a package is "unused" or not.
> >
> > Perhaps if it said "Remove unused automatically-installed packages
> > automatically" ?  ;-)
>   In most cases, the garbage collection should operate without you
> needing to know about it.  (the increasing prevalence of meta-packages
> is making this a bit tricky -- some explicit marking of these beasts in
> the package tags might be nice)

The way this garbage collection is implemented is one of the main
dislikes I have about aptitude. Aptitude contains a database with
packages that have been installed through aptitude; as such, it contains
no information on packages that were installed through a different
dpkg-frontend. Which is no problem in itself, except that aptitude
assumes a package which has not been installed through aptitude is not
wanted; this makes a transition from a different dpkg-frontend to
aptitude cumbersome, to say the least.

I much prefer the way debfoster handles this problem; instead of trying
to find out automatically, based on actions that happened in the past,
whether a package is wanted, debfoster plainly asks the user whether a
package on which no other package depends, and that is not yet in its
database, is wanted or not. This requires a lot of input for someone
running debfoster for the first time on a system with already a lot of
packages installed, but since it does not try to be 'smart', it does
give me the feeling of having control, which wasn't the case when I last
tried aptitude after having installed some hundreds of packages already.

Of course, I must add that I only tried aptitude a few times; when I saw
it suddenly uninstalling packages I use a lot, I kicked it off of my
hard disk :-)

Wouter Verhelst
Debian GNU/Linux -- http://www.debian.org
Nederlandstalige Linux-documentatie -- http://nl.linux.org
"Stop breathing down my neck." "My breathing is merely a simulation."
"So is my neck, stop it anyway!"
  -- Voyager's EMH versus the Prometheus' EMH, stardate 51462.

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