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Re: Bug#285768: dselect survey

On Wednesday 15 December 2004 07:51 pm, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> You may also want to set a flag on packages that are assumed to be
> automatically installed, but of which you have no information.

  aptitude never should assume that a package is automatically installed, 
unless it performs the automatic installation itself.  I don't think any 
other option is really safe.  (I *think* you're not talking about current 
behavior, but I thought I saw someone bring this up in the -devel thread that 
spawned this bug, and you just reminded me of it)

> Consider libgnome2-perl: people may want to install that, even if there
> is no dependency, to allow for debconf to provide a gnome frontend;
> however, I can imagine there are also packages that have a dependency on
> libgnome2-perl.
> Now consider a user who recently switched to aptitude after having used
> a different frontend for a long while; this user had installed
> libgnome2-perl manually (for the debconf frontend), but later on
> installed just one package depending on libgnome2-perl to see what it
> does. At that time, the switch to aptitude was made; but then the user
> decided that the package using libgnome2-perl isn't useful enough, and
> removes it again.
> What debfoster will do in that case, is present the user with
> libgnome2-perl (and all packages whom only libgnome2-perl depends on and
> for which no preference is yet known), and ask whether they should be
> removed.

  It sounds to me like what you're proposing is something like:

- If I see a new package installed by someone else,
  * if nothing depends on it, mark it "Unknown; probably manually installed"
  * otherwise, mark it "Unknown; probably automatically installed"

  Then you'd have two more classes of packages, in addition to manual and 

  "Unknown; probably manually installed": I don't see doing anything 
especially fancy here, but there should be a way to show all of them on 

  "Unknown; probably automatically installed": If one of these packages is 
only [transitively] depended upon by some other packages in the same class, 
tell the user that they all are possibly unused. (for instance, in the 
preview screen)

  One problem is that the set of packages that are possibly unused isn't 
disjoint to the other sets of packages that aptitude displays, which could 
perhaps lead to some awkward situations.  (what if a package is both 
upgradable and possibly unused?  Which category is it listed in, or is it 
listed in both?)


/------------------- Daniel Burrows <dburrows@debian.org> ------------------\
|   "Hah, I can just see a real playsmith puttin' a..a DONKEY in a play!"   |
|     -- Terry Pratchett, _Lords and Ladies_                                |
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