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Re: keeping an obsolete package (libx264-78) removes its automatically installed status

Hi, Celejar.

On 12/13/2009 11:59 PM, Celejar wrote:
> The package 'libx264-78' is installed on my (Sid) system:

This package provides the x264 video encoder/decoder (an implementation of the
part 10 of the MPEG 4 standard, also known as H.264).

This video standard is the same that is used by Blu-ray videos, iPod videos, a
good amount of videos (the majority?) available in Youtube, many of the
standards of HDTV etc.

The x264 library is an open source implementation of the coded (and quite
possibly, one of the highest performers). Unfortunately, the H.264 is an
"encumbered" format, as a landmine of patents and royalties to be paid, even for
the casual user (and nastier, from the political, not necessarily the technical
side of it).

Theora is a very good alternative, especially now that it is in version 1.1 (and
it is available in Debian's archive---I helped put the theora packages in shape
from the 1.0 to the 1.1 version and I am glad that it now has a new, competent

OK, but this only touches the subject that you brought us.

> Aptitude shows it in the 'Obsolete and Locally Created Packages'
> section.  When I try to upgrade the system, aptitude (initially)
> suggests that I keep this package, but whenever I accept the
> suggestion, the package's status of 'automatically installed' goes
> away, and it becomes marked as manually installed (which is certainly
> not what I want, since I have no idea what the thing is - I just want
> mplayer to be happy).

I hope that, now, you have a clearer idea of what the package does (and why it
is important).

I am not familiar with the internals of aptitude dependency resolver---so, this
is only a guess: I would say that the package gets marked as manually installed
since you manually chose to keep it by the resolver. I am really not sure on
this paragraph.

> This doesn't seem to happen to most packages -
> does this have anything to do with the fact that it's 'obsolete' (i.e.,
> currently not available in the archives)? Is this a bug?

The package, as you discovered, is marked as obsolete when it is not in the
archive anymore (gee, let me see which version of libx264 that I have
here---that is libx264-79).

You can get rid of the package if you just recompile mplayer with a newer
libx264 (you can get those from Christian Marillat's repository---well,
actually, you can grab the "unstable" version of his packages, most of the time).

Hope this helps,

Rogério Brito : rbrito@{ime.usp.br,gmail.com} : GPG key 1024D/7C2CAEB8
http://rb.doesntexist.org : Packages for LaTeX : algorithms.berlios.de
DebianQA: http://qa.debian.org/developer.php?login=rbrito%40ime.usp.br

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