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Re: utnubu-desktop for the masses

On Sun, Apr 23, 2006 at 04:57:42PM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> So far this entire thread has managed to be a useless distraction from
> the question at hand, which is how to make Debian's desktop task the
> best collection of packages it can be. I hope that if Gustavo hasn't
> been scared off by the predictably useless evolution of this thread so
> far, he will still find a way to work with me to help improve things in
> this area.

I think a fundamental problem is that we're seeing is that tasksel hasn't
generally been sold very well to anyone. I've tried myself to push it
towards users in #debian, but immediately people hop up and cry out that
it's crap, despite my protests. Whether it's ignorant bullshit or not, it's
advertising like that which keeps people from using the software.

Given that aptitude already shows tasks in its browser, is there a way to
make tasks integrate even better with the normal package lists? Is there
some way to make tasks look just like a metapackage? If someone installed a
hypothetical kde task by simply running "aptitude install kde" it might
solve the problem. We could feasibly shift all the major metapackages to
tasksel and do away with the problems you've mentioned. 

I don't know enough about the internals of tasksel or apt to know how to
actually implement this, but it seems like it'd be a good solution to the

> Tasksel's sole "action script" is desktop.preinst, which could not be
> implemented using any regular package maintenance script or dependency
> mechanism, since X requires the hardware detection programs be installed
> before it is preconfigured. In making X operate this way, the X
> maintainers have *required* that the installation system have a special
> case for X; castigating tasksel because I chose to implement support for
> this special case in a generalized fashion in desktop.preinst is absurd.

Just as a side-note to this discussion, I absolutely loathe the fact that X
needs this. Given the RC bugs we're still battling with Xorg 7, and with
7.1 on the horizon, I don't think there's any way I'll be able to fix this
for Etch, but my goal for Etch+1 is to make all this go away and much

 - David Nusinow

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