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Re: Debian Package HOWTO. Who ?

On Thu, Nov 16, 2000 at 12:43:11PM +0100, Egbert Bouwman wrote:
> No day without questions or complaints about the debian package system.
> Yesterday it was Hugo van der Merwe.
> A couple of more or less random selected lines from his message:
>  > ... some easy way to sync the selections with 
>  >     what is currently installed ...
>  > I admit to not have researched this properly ...
> Each new user has to do his own research, has to make many mistakes.
> I think this is a ridiculous situation.

This is the best way to learn.

> It seems to be a policy of the debian-in-group not to talk about
> the mechanism behind the package system: files that are being
> read or written are hardly mentioned in the user documentation.
> Looks like they adhere to the data hiding principle.

It's a vast conspiracy!!!   (Hint: it's all open source so you can find
out as much as is possible about it.) 

> What we need is a HOWTO-like document that explains everything
> about the files in the background: which file is read or written
> or updated in what way when you use any option or command.

It's pretty much all in the man page.  A HOWTO is not going to be much
easier to read.  For instance see the FILES section where it explains
which files are read or written or updated.

> For instance what happens when you do a 'dselect update' with the
> apt access method. Or what happens or does not happen when you hit
> any of the action keys while in a dselect dependency screen.
> Not to mention all the dpkg options.
> Is there anybody who understands all (or most) of it and can write
> a decent howto ? 

I rarely even use dpkg directly any more and never dselect.  apt-get is
just much easier to use.  Here's my howto:  Use apt.


P.S.:  I admit there are neat little tricks like dpkg --get-selections,
dpkg -S, dpkg -s etc.  But these are what the man page is for.

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