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Old 02-04-2008, 07:26 PM
William Pitcock
 
Default Proposal: Alternatives: field for debian/control

Hi,

There's a lot of packages in Debian which do the same basic thing, but
slightly differently. Having an Alternatives: field would be nice for
listing alternative packages which package maintainers may find useful
to try if the user does not like how the package they are installing
behaves.

As for the interface, I think that this would be useful and intuitive:

# apt-get install ircd-irc2
..
The following NEW packages will be installed:
ircd-irc2
The following packages are alternatives to the packages being installed:
inspircd ircd-ircu ircd-hybrid ircd-ratbox

This would especially be useful for when people install a virtual
package, so that they can get an overview of what other options are
available.

William
 
Old 02-04-2008, 07:47 PM
Neil Williams
 
Default Proposal: Alternatives: field for debian/control

On Mon, 2008-02-04 at 14:26 -0600, William Pitcock wrote:
> Hi,
>
> There's a lot of packages in Debian which do the same basic thing, but
> slightly differently. Having an Alternatives: field would be nice for
> listing alternative packages which package maintainers may find useful
> to try if the user does not like how the package they are installing
> behaves.

Sounds more like a job for debtags and ept-cache to me. The judgement
about whether two packages are "similar" enough to be "alternatives" can
be subjective, as shown by the previous discussions on xmms and
audacity. Such "fuzzy" relationships are best done with tags, IMHO.

(Also, let's not add yet more lines to the Packages.gz file?)

--


Neil Williams
=============
http://www.data-freedom.org/
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/
http://www.linux.codehelp.co.uk/
 
Old 02-04-2008, 07:51 PM
Julian Andres Klode
 
Default Proposal: Alternatives: field for debian/control

William Pitcock wrote:
> Hi,
>
> There's a lot of packages in Debian which do the same basic thing, but
> slightly differently. Having an Alternatives: field would be nice for
> listing alternative packages which package maintainers may find useful
> to try if the user does not like how the package they are installing
> behaves.
>
> As for the interface, I think that this would be useful and intuitive:
>
> # apt-get install ircd-irc2
> ..
> The following NEW packages will be installed:
> ircd-irc2
> The following packages are alternatives to the packages being installed:
> inspircd ircd-ircu ircd-hybrid ircd-ratbox
>
> This would especially be useful for when people install a virtual
> package, so that they can get an overview of what other options are
> available.
I don't think that this a good idea. You can use aptitude show
virtual-package to see which packages provide the virtual package.
We also have Suggests:, which is (sometimes) used for listing alternative
packages.

>
> William


--
Julian Andres Klode, Fellow of the Free Software Foundation Europe
Ubuntu Member | Debian Packager | Developer

try Ubuntu: http://www.ubuntu.com/ | my site: http://jak-linux.org/
mail: juliank@ubuntu.com | IRC: juliank
languages: German | English
 

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