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Re: Upgrading KDE and it's dependencies

Brian Kimball wrote:
> Bob Proulx wrote:
> > I have a rather agressive method.
> > ...
> > Then upgrade.  Then reinstall KDE.  Yes it is harsh.
> That's not just harsh, that's plain gross and wildly unnecessary.  This 
> isn't rpm on Red Hat 4.2.

When it comes to KDE upgrades if it walks like a duck and quacks like
a duck...

> You can trust apt and its friends, you know.

Note that I did not say this was what I thought *might* happen.  I
said this is what with apt-get *did* happen.  This is with aptitude
too.  But at this point in time I don't know at which point I used
which.  Usually I am sitting at someone else's desk at the moment and
am under time pressure to get them up and running and me out of their
cube.  In those cases I will chose the method that is guarenteed to
converge to a good result quickly.

> > But during the testing phase APT (either apt-get or aptitude) would 
> > find a different local minima than the one I want. The problems are 
> > almost always one of two types.  APT wants to remove a large number of 
> > packages that I want installed.  Those are actually fairly easy.  Let 
> > it remove those packages and just install them again later.    
> You think letting apt remove "a large number of packages that I want" is 
> the correct way to administer a debian box?

Ha, ha, ha.  Very funny.  Let me sit you down in front of APT.  These
are your choices:

  aptitude dist-upgrade
  The following NEW packages will be installed:
  ...new dependencies...
  The following packages will be REMOVED:
  ...most kde packages...
  The following packages will be upgraded:
  ...useful packages...
  Do you want to continue? [Y/n/?] 

What answer do you choose?  What are your follow-up actions?  Please
be specific.

> I know this sounds harsh, but I think you need to keep your suggestions 
> to yourself.  You're leading newbies wildly astray.

I disagree.  One of the base values of Debian is that we will not hide
our problems.  Unfortunately KDE has definitely had a history of
upgrade problems.  So please do not ignore the issues.  That is not
doing users any good service.

One of the really great things about Debian's apt is that it is so
very easy to install software.  I believe it is perfectly valid to
remove something now only to install it again later if it solves the
problem in a practical way.  Feel free to disagree.  But propose
useful counter examples or I will call shenanigans on you.

> To anyone having trouble upgrading, I suggest learning aptitude or at 
> least dselect, and learning them well enough so that you can use them 
> to resolve any unusual dependency issues.

Uhem, my turn for a counter post.  The use of 'dselect' is
deprecated.  Aptitude is now officially recommended.  (Although I
still prefer apt-get for most things.)

Please answer the aptitude question above.  What is your answer?  Yes,
install but remove kde components?  Or No, do nothing and not upgrade?

> The information will always be in front of you in these tools.

You would gain a lot of credibility if you posted information about
how to turn on debug capabilities to dump out why aptitude is wanting
to remove those packages so that bugs could be filed and packages
fixed.  I know that aptitude debug output capability exists.  But at
this moment I don't know what those commands are to dump that output.

Unfortunately if I were to put myself in the position of a KDE package
developer I as the developer would ask me the complainer, what was the
specific nature of my problems?  Because without that I don't see how
the packager can make improvements.  But because I am usually under
time pressure I typically have destroyed the evidence.  So I can't
tell you at this time.

However I have many more system upgrades to accomplish in the near
future.  So if there is specific information to be collected at that
time please speak up as I will surely run into this problem with the
next upgrade.  I can collect it then and report it back here at that

> You should never have to remove and then reinstall "a large number
> of packages" in the blind hope that that fixes your problems.

There was no blind hope there.  It was a carefully calculated plan.
In about five minutes I can *guarantee* you a fully working system
using that method.  Why do you think there is any blind hope here?
The only blind hope is that the problems were in the dependencies of
'oldstable' and are not currently present in the new 'stable' and now
once upgraded those can be put forever behind us.

> That Windows mentality ("I don't know what's going on, so I'm going
> to uninstall and then reinstall") has absolutely no place in Debian
> and is entirely unnecessary.

Oh, accusing me of being a MS-Windows user is really a low blow.  (I
will have to bookmark this message.  My friends will get a giggle out
of it. :-)

> I've been running the same damn original Debian install from 1998, 3
> computers and 4 hard drives removed, and I'm still running as
> perfect as day 1, without any cruft or any bullshit forced purge and
> then reinstall.  Ugh.  I'm sorry Bob, but that just makes me sick.
> Please don't encourage people to think that way.

My personal work desktop is a machine upgraded continuously through
Potato to Woody to Sarge.  My network consists of about 2800 computer
systems of which about 1300 of them are Debian machines, the rest
commercial UNIX.  Several hundred are user's desktops.  The others are
servers.  All of i686, ia64, amd64 are represented.  I am really happy
you have had good experience with your machine all of this time.  I am
happy if you want to stick your head in the sand and ignore other
people's problems.  But that is not the Debian way.  Please don't
encourage people to gloss over problems just because you don't
understand them.


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