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Re: Is this really the right thing to do?

> > The problem of needing *some* sort of terminal can be solved by having
> > both xterm and rxvt provide the same "terminal" capability, and have
> > x-base suggest the "terminal" stuff.  It shouldn't depend on it though,
> > one can imagine an useful x-installation without a terminal.
> 	Nothing wrong with what you say above.  The problem is, you and I know
> what xterm and rxvt are.  We don't need to be told they are related to
> X11, or that at least one of them is really needed to use X11.  A user
> unfamiliar with X11, will, in dselect's select display for the section
> X11, see a huge list of alphabetically sorted files where most start
> with 'x' in the name.  'rxvt' will be toward the middle of the list and
> 'xterm' will be towards the end.  The rest of the X11 debs will be
> interspersed with other packages that start with 'x'.

The unfamiliar user may try to install xbase, as the name suggest that
you really ned that one.  With my "suggest" idea, dselect will then
pop up a warning saying "xbase suggest x-term-emulator, xterm provides
x-term-emulator, rxvt provides x-term-emulator, nnn provides ...
This system is in use for mail software already, and don't require
namechanges.  (Try installing smail, dselect will suggest a bunch
of mail readers to go with it if you have none.)

> 	Maybe a policy of a common prefix would be sufficient.  Would having
> xterm and rxvt change their package names to 'X11-xterm' and 'X11-rxvt',
> be ok?  Or should dpkg/apt be modified to understand the concept of deb
I don't know if prefixing everything with X11 would make it better,
you would basically get exactly the same list in the same order,
with X11 in front of everything?

> package 'groups'?  Imagine a 'group' display in dselect of the X11
> section, which not only lists xterm and rxvt together, but also shows
> they are components of the X11 software system (X11 apps would show up
> individually, or in their own 'group' if necessary).
When I run dselect, the x11 stuff is grouped already.  Having these groups
collapsable (and having sub-groups) like "make menuconfig" would
improve it further.  

Another thing I would like to see would be some default suggestions.
I.e. an entry for "standard X11 installation on workstation" that
autoselects xbase, xterm and a bunch of other things you usually need.
Similiar to the first-time installation thing, but integrated into
dselect or whatever replaces dselect.

A user with little knowledge could then select entries like
"standard x11 on workstation" or "x-terminal only",
"email using pop3/smtp", "email using smtp only"
"development system with gcc" and so on.

Using these entries would save time for smart users too.  Selecting a
"standard package" of packages would simply turn on a predefines set
of packages, and the smart user could review that instead of 
searching for the 15 packages he know he need.

Helge Hafting

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