Re: Bug#704293: release-notes: drop explanation of how to find obsolete packages from dselect
Jonathan Nieder wrote:
> Justin B Rye wrote:
>> I should like to call your attention to the fact that this whole
>> paragraph is just confused, and needs to be rewritten.
> I just looked over your patch. It changes a different paragraph
> than the one I modified.
Ah, I'm talking about 4.4.3 (unless the numbering has changed) with
just a mention of the section 4.9 that you're dealing with. Fair
enough, I should get out of the bug log for #704293.
> The paragraph modified by  is about how to free up some space.
How to free up space *before* a dist-upgrade. That's significant.
> I believe its intent is:
> One way to free up space is to remove packages you do
> not need. Here are a few ways to find candidate packages
> to remove:
And in this paragraph it specifically says it's talking about
> * Run popcon-largest-unused, which finds large packages
> whose files you haven't touched recently.
> * Run "apt-get autoremove", which removes packages that
> were automatically installed and for which there is no
> longer a manually installed package justifying their
> continued installation.
I don't see anything about "apt-get autoremove" in the copy I've just
checked out of SVN... nothing about that or aptitude's older support
for the same feature. Instead we get the section on aptitude's
handling of packages that are "obsolete" in the other sense. It
seemed pretty obvious to me that that section below was added because
of confusion over this unfortunate ambiguity in our choice of jargon.
> * Run deborphan or debfoster, which more aggressively
> searches for unnecessary packages based on package
And it calls them "obsolete" packages, accompanying that word with an
explicit link to 4.9; but that's inappropriate, since this section has
been talking about packages that are "obsolete" in the sense of
"redundant" while 4.9 is talking exclusively about packages that are
"obsolete" in the sense of "sourceless".
> * Run aptitude and look for the "Obsolete and Locally
> Created Packages" category, which will contain packages
> from previous releases that you never bothered to remove.
These may be "obsolete", but unless they're *also* redundant automatic
installs (covered in the previous points), they don't seem likely
candidates for freeing up space before a dist-upgrade. They're things
that I've been deliberately keeping around even though they weren't in
Debian stable. Yes, it's possible that I'll need to find some
replacement for them, but
(a) that's not especially likely to free up any space (quite the
opposite, in my experience), and
(b) this is more or less exactly the wrong time to do it, since they
might be in wheezy! The time to check for "Obsolete and Locally
Created Packages" is immediately *after* a dist-upgrade.
(My objection to this subsection has nothing to do with the fact that
it also has a reference to aptitude's misnamed "visual mode".)
> The patch  removes important details, so I fear it needs more work.
> I agree with the goal, though.
Which details do you mean? As you may have noticed, I'm having some
trouble keeping up with the current patched and formatted content...
JBR with qualifications in linguistics, experience as a Debian
sysadmin, and probably no clue about this particular package