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Hi Deity.

   [ sorry this is a little long -- please reply-to: guy@interlog.com but
     cc: me here, thanks ]

I'd like to see a page on APT vs DSELECT on the debian site as I could
not find this issue discussed in either the FAQ or the FAQOMATIC pages.

I am willing to write this and submit it to the appropriate person.  I've
used texinfo, sgml-tools, ... in the past so, ... you can choose the format.

This mail is addressed to the maintainer of APT according to the 'mailto':
the search engine does not pickup 'dselect' as a package so I've copied
the corresponding address for 'dpkg'.

Why ?


I have been using Debian since 0.93r6.  I've been using linux since SLS 1.03.
[ I've been using free software since 1984 (TeX, emacs a year later) ].  I
switched to redhat a bit less than 12 months ago because it was hard to
get up-to-date Debian CDs but I've since found a good source, which actually
contributes to Debian as well.

Reasons [ long-winded :( ]

Please don't take this personally, but dselect is HORRIBLE.  I showed
debian to three co-workers in late 1995 and no-one was impressed (a couple
of them started using debian because of the quality of the rest of the
distribution --- the other uses RedHat because he believes marketing and
usability is important).  I use Debian because it is 'free' in RMS' sense (and
because some RedHat packages don't work).

I'd heard that APT was going to replace DSELECT and assumed that it would
be the default in slink ... but it is not.  I've seen people raving about
it and I understand that there is a version available for slink so I will
look at it.

Because I found dselect so awful, I've never looked much at dpkg.  Between
SLS and Debian I used BOGUS.  I was able to build the entire BOGUS distribution
from source code using only:
     - 5 or 6 binary packages (it was impossible to build entirely using SLS
       because the include files, libraries etc. were too far out of date)
     - shell scripts to run the package management tool [1]
To me, this is what "open source" [2], is (or should be) all about.

I am now interested in looking more closely into dpkg for various reasons.
I've been reading and participating in debian-hurd for about a year but I
have been too busy to get the hurd installed at home so my participation is
somewhat limited.  Debian-hurd is committed to dpkg at the moment.
I'm tentatively planning to use 'rpm' at work because I've seen a reference
to someone using it on other unices (;login, Jan 99).  Up 'til now I've been
using my own tool to do this but I haven't had time to develop it.  However,
if I can easily do with 'dpkg' what I want to do with 'rpm' then I will have
to choose.


Guy Hulbert, Project Manager [3]	Bioinformatics Supercomputing Centre
(416) 813-8876				555 University Avenue
email: guy@bioinfo.sickkids.on.ca	The Hospital for Sick Children
http:  www.bioinfo.sickkids.on.ca	Toronto, ON, M5G 1X8, CANADA.

[1] 'pms' from which 'rpm' is indirectly derived.  
[2] I prefer the term 'free-software'.
[3] Project Manager = Sys Admin :)

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