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apt-show-versions rewrite

(CC'd kinda widely, eh; feel free to trim responses)

Hello there, Christoph!

I've used apt-show-versions for years, and found it quite useful. It's a bit
slow, though, and its need to update a root-owned disk cache is kind of

As part of my RAPTORIAL project (https://github.com/dankamongmen/raptorial),
I've implemented "rapt-show-versions", an apt-show-versions clone making use
of my libraptorial library. This multithreaded C engine ends up being quite
a bit faster than apt-show-versions; a single core run comes in around .21s
whereas apt-show-versions takes about 1.01s, while allowing it to use all 4
hyperthreaded cores drops this to .04s. We will soon begin shipping
RAPTORIAL tools in SprezzOS.

I'm aiming for feature-equivalence with apt-show-versions (the -i option
becomes a no-op, since I don't use a cache), though I'm not yet there. Core
functionality is present, and debugged. The code is, so far as I know,
portable across POSIX systems.

I'd like to show deference to you, as the author of apt-show-versions. How
would you like to proceed on this? I figure there's three options:

 - The apt-show-versions package begins building my code, which I will
   version relative to current apt-show-versions, on which there would be no
   further development.

 - A new package, rapt-show-versions, is introduced, probably with
   alternatives and Provides support.

 - The code is not introduced into Debian anytime soon.

Know that I am not (yet) a DD, though I'm happy to ITP this up if someone
will help it through.

Please take a look, and let me know how you'd like to move forward.

Note that I don't by any means propose replacing other APT components
with RAPTORIAL, yet.

Thanks for your time.

Hack on! --nick

nick black     http://www.sprezzatech.com -- unix and hpc consulting
to make an apple pie from scratch, you need first invent a universe.

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