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Re: [Synaptic-devel] Synaptic in the press

From: Panu Matilainen
Subject: Re: [Synaptic-devel] Synaptic in the press
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 13:23:23 +0300 (EEST)

On Thu, 22 Apr 2004, Guillaume Pratte wrote:

> > I don't really know what exactly he is asking for (we might just ask
> > him :) but I guess he wants to hide some of the packages that synaptic
> > shows right now. Like the lib-packages. I guess the idea is to have
> > some "meta-packages" like what we have in debian with gnome-core,
> > gnome and display only those. So that you basicly don't have to
> > maintain packages but more high-level entities. A bit like debian
> > tasksel and (maybe, never used red-carpt) red-carpet channels.
> >
> > To do this we need support from the distributions. We need additional
> > metadata that helps synaptic to understand about such entities. The
> > debtags project might be a way to provide the additional metadata.
> I do think something like this is missing in Debian. It's not enough to
> have a KDE meta-package if it is treated the same as a normal package by
> Synaptic. I feel there should be an "evident place" in the application
> where you can easily install, for instance, Gnome 2.6 when it comes into
> unstable, without having to know if the package you need to install is
> called "gnome-core", "gnome-deskop", "gnome-2.6" or whatever name the
> meta-package actually has...

Not just Debian, the problem is even worse on RHL/FC since no metapackages 
or any such mechanism exists. For apt-get I'm using a Lua script 
which parses the comps.xml file (which anaconda uses to present "GNOME 
desktop", "Graphical Internet" etc friendly software group names) and adds 
some new commands to apt to deal with those, eg you can say
"apt-get groupinstall kde-desktop" which pulls all the packages from that 
group. Works very nicely .. except that of course Synaptic has no clue 
whatsoever about those groups :( Been wondering how the heck to hook 
something like that into Synaptic for quite a while now.

> The same goes for important desktop applications, such as Gimp, KMail and 
> Evolution, Firefox, etc. It would be nice to have a "popularity" meta-tag 
> that would enable Synaptic to display important and popular software the user 
> might want to install.

That'd be nice indeed. The average end user doesn't a) need b) want to 
know about the umphteen hundred libxyz241 packages which dominate the 
package listings. Of course it'd be possible to filter out much of the 
stuff by eliminating -devel packages, libraries (based on package 
group/section) but .. the whole deal is made all the more difficult with 
differences between Debian and rpm-based systems. Perhaps the common 
repository metadata project will someday make things easier but... 

        - Panu -

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