[Aptitude-devel] Opinions about the GTK version of aptitude

Daniel Burrows dburrows at debian.org
Wed Nov 12 17:10:10 UTC 2008

On Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 01:59:01PM -0200, "Nelson A. de Oliveira" <naoliv at gmail.com> was heard to say:
> I don't know what is the exact purpose of the GTK version (if it's a
> complete graphical replacement for aptitude or just an easier thing to
> use), but being an ncurses aptitude user I have some suggestions:
> - option to not download the changelogs;

  Probably a good idea.  Does the updating-package-lists-on-startup
behavior also bother you?  That one seems more problematic to me;
downloading the changelogs doesn't interfere with normal use of the
program.  (before you ask, you can disable it by setting
Aptitude::Update-On-Startup to false)

> - split in sections (like the ncurses version):
>   - display new packages
>   - display installed packages
>   - not installed packages
>   - obsolete and local packages
>   - virtual packages
>   - tasks

  I don't think you'll see "not installed", "installed", or "virtual"
packages listed (other than typing the corresponding search into the
search box); there are so many packages in the archive these days that
there's simply no point to showing the entire list at once.  The new
interface is designed around searching for packages instead of walking
through an all-encompassing list for that reason.

  However, we probably should include a quick way to get at new packages,
obsolete packages, and tasks.  Either an entry in a menu, or a button on
the dashboard tab (although I feel like that might clutter it too much).
It would basically just do the search for you, but since not everyone
knows the search language by heart it would be good to have some canned
searches for common queries.  (that's basically what the upgrade list is)
There is something like that for broken packages (but it onlu shows up
in a popup message when there are broken packages).

  It might also be interesting to include some "filter" buttons that
select only a subset of the search results: for instance, showing only
installed or not-installed packages.  I can't think of other useful
filters off-hand, but there are probably some.

  Do you have a situation where listing virtual packages is useful?
I don't think I've ever actually used that tree; mostly it gets in my

> I get a lot of messages on the terminal:
> (aptitude:21113): Gtk-WARNING **: Failed to set text from markup due to
> error parsing markup: Error on line 6 char 56: Odd character '@',
> expected a '>' or '/' character to end the start tag of element 'faw',
> or optionally an attribute; perhaps you used an invalid character in an
> attribute name

  I haven't seen this, but it sounds like we need to escape some markup
somewhere.  Are you doing anything in particular when you get it (e.g.,
running a particular search, looking at a particular package, etc)?


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