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Re: aptitude --mind-your-own-business option?

On Mon, Dec 04, 2006 at 16:51:56 -0600, Mike McCarty wrote:
> Florian Kulzer wrote:
> >On Mon, Dec 04, 2006 at 03:33:39 -0600, Mike McCarty wrote:
> >
> [snip]
> >>
> >>But you have failed completely to notice that installation
> >>and garbage collection/disposal are conceptually, and should
> >>remain physically, separate actions.
> >
> >
> >You have failed completely to realize that my computer is merely a tool
> >for me to do my work. I could not care less how many "conceptually
> >different actions" a program mixes together as long as it gets its job
> >done and as long as I can configure it to fit my needs. I can easily
> >configure/use aptitude such that the "installation" and "garbage
> >disposal" actions are carried out in separate steps, but I choose not to
> >do so. 
> Not at all. I was making a statement about what is important
> to me. Sorry I didn't make that clear.

My response was snarkier than strictly necessary, so I am not in a
position to point the finger here.

>                                        You, of course, have
> a list of priorities. I have mine. They are, apparently, not
> the same. I heartily recommend that you apply your set of
> priorities, and not mine, to your own machine, as I will to mine.

I just want to state two more things which I think one should consider
when evaluating the usefulness and "dangers" of aptitude:

1) If you do not like the "cleverness" of aptitude you can configure it
   to act as "dumb" as apt-get does. I would argue that aptitude is
   preferable to apt-get in that configuration, too, because aptitude's
   interactive interface provides a faster and more convenient way to
   get an overview of package descriptions, available versions,
   dependencies, conflicts, etc.

2) Aptitude will always give you the opportunity to review what it wants
   to do and to cancel the whole deal. (Unless you run it with
   "--assume-yes", but then you are deliberately asking for trouble.)

> OTOH, one day, if aptitude deletes something you need, it will be
> difficult for me to feel too sympathetic.


> I hope you never face the day when trying to install software
> on your machine results in removal of bunch of software you
> wanted to retain. Be sure to keep your backups current.

I cannot predict what the future will bring. I can say, however, after
using aptitude on two Sid systems for almost a year and doing
"dist-upgrade" nearly every single day, that aptitude seems to be a lot
less dangerous than what has been claimed by some people. (This is not
directed at you, Mike, I am just getting a bit fed up with the
aptitude-related fear mongering that I have seen on this list recently.)


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