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Bug#413226: apt: Wrong (and bizarre) explanation for failure to install package

Package: apt
Severity: normal

When I try to install libgif4 on my etch system, which turns out to be no-go because it conflicts with libungif4, and hence with some packages that Require libungif4, apt-get says:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.

Since you only requested a single operation it is extremely likely that
the package is simply not installable and a bug report against
that package should be filed.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies.
  dictionary-el: Depends: emacs21 or
                          emacs-snapshot but it is not installable or
E: Broken packages

which is odd, because I have both dictionary-el and emacs21 installed

-- Package-specific info:

-- apt-config dump --

APT "";
APT::Architecture "i386";
APT::Build-Essential "";
APT::Build-Essential:: "build-essential";
Dir "/";
Dir::State "var/lib/apt/";
Dir::State::lists "lists/";
Dir::State::cdroms "cdroms.list";
Dir::State::userstatus "status.user";
Dir::State::status "/var/lib/dpkg/status";
Dir::Cache "var/cache/apt/";
Dir::Cache::archives "archives/";
Dir::Cache::srcpkgcache "srcpkgcache.bin";
Dir::Cache::pkgcache "pkgcache.bin";
Dir::Etc "etc/apt/";
Dir::Etc::sourcelist "sources.list";
Dir::Etc::sourceparts "sources.list.d";
Dir::Etc::vendorlist "vendors.list";
Dir::Etc::vendorparts "vendors.list.d";
Dir::Etc::main "apt.conf";
Dir::Etc::parts "apt.conf.d";
Dir::Etc::preferences "preferences";
Dir::Bin "";
Dir::Bin::methods "/usr/lib/apt/methods";
Dir::Bin::dpkg "/usr/bin/dpkg";
DPkg "";
DPkg::Pre-Install-Pkgs "";
DPkg::Pre-Install-Pkgs:: "/usr/bin/apt-listchanges --apt || test $? -ne 10";
DPkg::Pre-Install-Pkgs:: "/usr/sbin/dpkg-preconfigure --apt || true";
DPkg::Tools "";
DPkg::Tools::Options "";
DPkg::Tools::Options::/usr/bin/apt-listchanges "";
DPkg::Tools::Options::/usr/bin/apt-listchanges::Version "2";
DPkg::Post-Invoke "";
DPkg::Post-Invoke:: "if [ -x /usr/bin/debsums ]; then /usr/bin/debsums --generate=nocheck -sp /var/cache/apt/archives; fi";
Unattended-Upgrade "";
Unattended-Upgrade::Allowed-Origins "";
Unattended-Upgrade::Allowed-Origins:: "Debian stable";

-- (no /etc/apt/preferences present) --

-- /etc/apt/sources.list --

# Debian
deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ etch main non-free contrib
deb-src http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ etch main non-free contrib

#deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ experimental main non-free contrib

deb http://security.debian.org/ etch/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ etch/updates main contrib non-free

# Debian-volatile
#deb http://volatile.debian.net/debian-volatile etch/volatile main
#deb-src http://volatile.debian.net/debian-volatile etch/volatile main

# Various mostly non-free software
deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org/ etch main
deb-src http://www.debian-multimedia.org/ etch main

# Backports
#deb http://www.backports.org/debian/ etch-backports main contrib

# Skype
#deb http://download.skype.com/linux/repos/debian/ stable non-free

# Opera
deb http://deb.opera.com/opera/ etch non-free

# omega and xapian
deb http://www.xapian.org/debian unstable main
deb-src http://www.xapian.org/debian unstable main

# wine
#deb http://wine.sourceforge.net/apt/ binary/
#deb-src http://wine.sourceforge.net/apt/ source/

# freemind
#deb http://eric.lavar.de/comp/linux/debian/ experimental/

# freenx
deb http://packages.debianbase.de/etch/i386/nx/ ./

# psiconv, fat-epoc and a few others
#deb http://debian.frodo.looijaard.name/public/sarge sarge ultima4 fat-epoc
#deb-src http://debian.frodo.looijaard.name/public/sarge sarge ultima4 fat-epoc

-- System Information:
Debian Release: 4.0
  APT prefers testing
  APT policy: (500, 'testing')
Architecture: i386 (i686)
Shell:  /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash
Kernel: Linux 2.6.18-4-686
Locale: LANG=en_GB.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=en_GB.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)

Versions of packages apt depends on:
ii  debian-archive-keyring      2007.02.19   GnuPG archive keys of the Debian a
ii  libc6                       2.3.6.ds1-11 GNU C Library: Shared libraries
ii  libgcc1                     1:4.1.1-21   GCC support library
ii  libstdc++6                  4.1.1-21     The GNU Standard C++ Library v3

apt recommends no packages.

-- no debconf information

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