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Re: [Synaptic-devel] Distribution selection

From: Guillaume Pratte
Subject: Re: [Synaptic-devel] Distribution selection
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 23:46:21 -0400
User-agent: KMail/1.5.3

Some quick comments about the UI :

 - If the "Expert" tab only contains options for "Distribution", then maybe it 
should be renamed "Distribution"? I would not know what to do with the 
existing "Distribution:" tag though...

 - The "ignore" default release is labeled as "always use the latest package 
version", but apt-get with more than one "branch" does not behave this way. 
It always use the most stable version available, so if you have both testing 
and unstable sources, it will use testing packages unless "-t unstable" is 
specified. So maybe the label should be renamed "Default (Use the most stable 
version available)"?

 - The "If you have more than ..." sentence if missing the period at the end.

 - Same thing for the "Note:" text. May I suggest some modifications?

  "Note : After changing the default release the package list needs to be 
reloaded and all selections will be lost. Make sure to commit your changes 

The user might not be aware of what the "cache" is, so I refer to it as the 
"package list".

I will do some testing tomorrow.

Guillaume Pratte

> > > Should we make a switch (maybe in the preferences) where you select
> > > your default Distribution and then another in the main window where you
> > > can override the distribution for each pkg individually?
> >
> > The switch in the preferences is a good idea, but I don't think that an
> > individual package override will be usefull. That override will be
> > complex to implement and to maintain, and it will not provide any value
> > add to the software.
> Well, I wrote the code while working on the gloabl thing. So it is
> possible to add it to the gui. I was thinking about something like
> this:
> +-----------------------------------------+
> |Information|..|*Versions*|               |
> +-----------+--+----------+---------------+
> |stable:  2.2.5-1                         |
> |testing: 2.2.5-15                        |
> |stable: 3.3.1                            |
> +-----------------------------------------+
> |                     |Install selected|  |
> +-----------------------------------------+
> In the main window. But as you said, it's unclear if it really adds
> any value to the software. What do the other on the ML thing about
> this? Is this possible at all with rpm?
> It might be usefull, because the current code needs to reread the
> cache each time a the default release is changed and this clear the
> selections. That means that you have to choose stable, do your
> selections and then "proceed". After this, choose "testing" and do
> your changes. This make the current implementation a bit inelegant
> (libapt sometimes has limits to support such interactive programms as
> synaptic, it better designed for stuff like apt-get).
> [..]
> > Also, the "-t" option of apt-get applies to all of the packages of the
> > command line, so, as far as I know, it is not possible to install from
> > many distributions in one command.
> It is possible to do this with apt-get. You can use something like:
> $ apt-get install kde/stable gnome/unstable ...
> [..]
> > What I see if the following :
> >
> >  1. Provide a new tab in the preferences dialog in order to let the user
> > select the distribution. Inform the user in that tab that the choices
> > present in this tab depends on the sources he/she has set-up in the
> > repositories dialog. (I am not a gui expert, so it might not be the best
> > way to implement this concept).
> >
> >  2. When the user press OK, if the distribution changed, refresh the
> > package list to show the packages from that distribution.
> >
> > This will also affect the "Upgrade All" and "Dist Upgrade"
> > functionalities, I guess.
> Ok, I implemented it as you suggested. There is a new "expert" tab in
> the preferences dialog. There you can choose what default release to
> use. The code is available at and should work exactly like
> "apt-get -t <release>" :
> Please test it and report bugs :)
> Feedback for this feature is importend to me, because I use a
> "unstable" only setup and I don't have any experience with runing such
> a mixed setup (and the few cases a saw it when visiting friends, I
> found it difficult to work with, because of many not-installable
> packages).

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