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Re: dselect complaints

On Sun, 19 May 1996, Jeffrey Ebert wrote:

> I think you misunderstood Ian's statement. Once again, you are
> complaining (rather harshly, I might add) without volunteering to
> write code. Ian has a lot of responsibilities, and he performs them
> well. Like Raul, I think that you or others could help without taking
> over maintenance of the dpkg package.

i agree. the comments about dselect and about ian's development of
dselect were way too harsh & strong.

dselect isn't bad. it's useful. it's powerful. and it's potentially
dangerous if you use it without a clue.  So is logging in as root. big

> Maybe I'm enjoying the same substances, but I like dselect. I won't
> argue that dselect _cannot_ be improved, but I happily use it at least
> once a week to maintain and upgrade my system. I use the dpkg-ftp
> method exclusively, and I love it.

I wouldn't go so far as to say i "love it", but I think it's pretty
damned good.  I like it.  It's not perfect, far from it, but it works.
It needs some work on the user interface (although I'm sure that when
it's made "idiot-proof" i'll probably prefer the old version...what's
that old line about making a tool that even an idiot can use? only an
idiot would want to use it :-).

I use dpkg regularly to install single packages - either from my mirror of
the debian ftp site, or stuff that i've compiled, or packages that i'm
working on but haven't released yet.  dpkg is great for installing or
upgrading a small number of packages.

I also use dselect when I have to install/upgrade a dozen or more
packages at once.  I just take the time to think about what i'm doing,
set up dselect to do what i want (i.e. i [S]elect and make sure that
everything's right).  Then i run install and leave it to do it's work.
A lot easier and a lot less time consuming than upgrading dozens of
packages one by one.

> Aside:  I'm probably flame-bait, but if I were to write a user
> interface in python/Tk, would anybody want it? I realize that perl is
> (debian) standard and Tcl/Tk is popular, but I am a python/Tk lover.
> :-) Well, I think I'll do it anyway because it'll make me happy, and
> then we can talk about the rest of you. ;-)

code.  is good.  

That sound like a great idea: make a pythontk-dselect package.  People
who don't like or haven't installed python and tk don't have to use it.
There's nothing wrong with having more than one dselect package for each
user's preferred interface.

In fact, maybe dselect should be broken up into two parts: the core
functionality which does all the underlying work (this part already
exists), and a variable user-interface part which can implement the user
interface using a variety of tools: {python,perl,tcl} & tk, text based
Ctk as someone suggested the other day, Xforms, ncurses, or anything
else that people care to write in. 

If the UI modules are not written to be incompatible with each other, a
user could have several or all of them installed and use whichever one
suits his/her needs at the time (e.g. Tk interface while at the console,
ncurses interface when logged in over a slow serial connection etc)

If you write a python-tk interface for dselect, maybe somebody could use
your python code as a basis for writing a perl-tk interface...


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