In foo.debian-dpkg, you wrote:
> 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.
This has been discussed and addressed in debian-admintool.
See the archives for details. Also see Wichert's apt design document.
It details an 'Auto' status field that signifies a package should be
removed if nothing depends on it.
- From: Imran Geriskovan <firstname.lastname@example.org>