I'm new to Debian and I appreciate you work.
I think dpkg is an excellent tool for manupulating system configuration.
However it has a minor but important shortcoming.
Let me describe it:
Think of installing Netscape4.
As many of you know it depends on motifnls, libc5, etc...
Selecting Netscape4 in dselect list implies auto-selection of these
packages. That's fine. However if I want to uninstall netscape4 and
deselect netscape4 in dselect list, only the netscape4 package is
uninstalled. That is; motifnls, libc5, etc.. are left on the system.
I'm aware that these packages can not be deinstalled automatically
since someother packed can depend on it.
But what if those packages do not associate with any other dependency
within the system. Not uninstalling such packages means cluttering the
system with unnecessary packages. This is a "Windows"ish behaviour. :)
As many of you know windows applications bring dll's to the system.
Even if you uninstall these applications these dll's and someother
files are left on the system. What happens in our (Debian) system is not
exactly of this type but it causes inefficient disk usage.
I know this is something that can not be handled automatically.
However dpkg+dselect system may inform the user in some appropriate way.
For instance it may say:
"You are uninstalling X.
X depends on Y, Z, W, V
And it seems that no other package depends on Y, Z, W, V
Do you also want to uninstall Y, Z, W, V?"
or something like that...
I think such a mechanism is needed.