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Bug#34854: dpkg should format output according to screen width?

Package: dpkg
Severity: wishlist

It would be really nice if dpkg -l formats its output according to the actual
screen width, resizing its output columns accordingly -- and not assume 80

For packages with very long names or version strings, dpkg -l simply truncates
the output. For example:

% dpkg -l
| Status=Not/Installed/Config-files/Unpacked/Failed-config/Half-installed
|/ Err?=(none)/Hold/Reinst-required/X=both-problems (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
||/ Name            Version        Description
ii  gdb             4.17.19981224- The GNU Debugger
ii  libstdc++2.9-gl 2.91.63-1.1    The GNU stdc++ library (egcs version)
ii  libstdc++2.9-gl 2.91.63-1.1    The GNU stdc++ library (development files)

It's basically impossible to determine which subversion gdb is from this
output; and also, in the case of libstdc++, you can't differentiate between
the library package and the -dev package at all (except by the description).
Neither can you tell if the library is for glibc2.0 or glibc2.1 or some
subversion of glibc. This is rather annoying when trying to get a quick list
of all -dev packages, for example, with "dpkg -l | grep -dev" because
libstdc++-glibc2.1-dev won't show up.

I tried to run dpkg in an very wide xterm, but dpkg just assumes 80 cols
no matter how wide the xterm window is.


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