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Strange "smart" upgrades in aptitude / synaptic?

I've recently bitten the bullet and switched from using dselect for
package management to aptitude, seeing as it was supposed to be
smarter in dealing with complex upgrades.

However, aptitude didn't deal at all well with the broken dependencies
that crop up on my unstable box. The "upgrade what can be upgraded"
command seems to upgrade at all costs, i. e. it will remove itself if
it means getting a new apt version. When it recently suggested I
should remove most of gnome just to bump the debian revision of one
package I went looking for alternatives. There seem to be two types of
apt frontends:

old school: apt-get, dselect, synaptic (Default Upgrade). Those won't
uninstall a working package unless you tell it to.

"smart": aptitude, synaptic (Smart Upgrade) Those will remove a third
of your installed packages in one go if you're not careful.

Now I'm sure there's a reason for the new behaviour. Could someone
please explain to me why the new-style tool behave like they do? After
all, I'd rather wait with upgrading than lose functionality on a
system. (Yes, I could manually hold back the packages it wants to
remove, but that isn't too practical.)



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