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Re: aptitude trap: 'hold' directives not honored.

On Mon, May 24, 2004 at 10:46:47AM +0100, Colin Watson wrote:
> Desired state of packages should never have been in /var/lib/dpkg/status
> in the first place. (And yes, I've had this discussion with the original
> author, who agreed ...)

The problem isn't that "desired states" are kept in the status file, the
problem is that aptitude ignores the status file.  The statuses are THERE,
saying that they shouldn't be doesn't make them go away.

Or are you saying that dpkg is what's broken?  Let's see... dpkg is
base/required, aptitude is admin/optional.  If aptitude's behavior were the
correct one, wouldn't those be reversed?  The package description for dpkg

   Description: Package maintenance system for Debian
   This package contains the programs which handle the installation and
   removal of packages on your system.

That's not what aptitude's says.  Aptitude's says "apt frontend".  Sounds
even more like dpkg is the standard, and aptitude is just supposed to be a
front-end to that standard.

Aptitude's description also says, in part: "...dselect-like persistence of
user actions..." except it doesn't follow what dselect does.  Dselect, of
course, is also base/required.  Is there any other management tool in
base/required?  Synaptic isn't.  Gnome-apt isn't.  Are there others?  Those
are the ones that depend on libapt-pkg-libc6.

Aptitude's brokenness would *almost* be tolerable if it at least behaved
consistently betweeen the two interfaces it supports.  I'd love to hear an
explanation of why the same tool behaves differently on such a fundamental
point depending on whether you're using the command-line vs the menu-driven
interface.  It's certainly been the subject of several bug reports without
any concrete resolution other than "gee, it's too hard".

Finally... what aptitude does or doesn't do would be a non-issue if
everyone didn't try so hard to sell it as the replacement for every other
package management tool out there.  All of us Debianites love to tell
people that apt-get is just something that was coded as a demonstration
tool... but that's what everyone sees and that's what we're known for.  The
inconsistency between the tools is more than a little absurd.

 Marc Wilson |     Please remain calm, it's no use both of us being
 msw@cox.net |     hysterical at the same time.

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