[Aptitude-devel] About the status and plans for aptitude

David Kalnischkies kalnischkies+debian at gmail.com
Tue Nov 29 00:44:10 UTC 2011

On Sun, Nov 27, 2011 at 19:11, Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo
<manuel.montezelo at gmail.com> wrote:
> So, some of the questions (feel free to expand) that I am interested in hearing
> opinions about:
>  - Does anybody know what's the current status and future plans for Aptitude?
>  - Does Cupt, Apt2 or some of the ongoing efforts based on PackageKit provide a
>   complete replacement for what Aptitude is used today?

First, define for what aptitude is used nowadays, then we can answer that -
maybe. Personally, while i have never used aptitude, i wouldn't say that
either of these is a direct competitor to aptitude.
PackageKit is bound to dbus, something you seldom find on e.g. servers while
as far as i know cupt and "apt2" don't have a curses interface planed or
even implemented, but as a die hard APT user who never touched the others
that's only guesswork.

>  - Is there anyone interested in reviving the project, or that at least
>   considered seriously the idea lately?
>  - Does Debian as a whole think that it's worth pursuing?  Maybe everybody is
>   using just apt, synaptic or something else doing the task much better, and I
>   didn't realise :)

"Debian as a whole" properly thinks nothing. You will find every shade of
"total crap" up to "tool from heaven" and that is fine.
That said, the release-notes switched to apt-get for dist-upgrading for
squeeze and it will likely stay that way for wheezy - and that is fine, too.
A distribution upgrade is properly the least interactive action on a system,
so it's hard for an interactive interface like aptitude to really shine here.

So the target audience should be day-to-day interactive use - and properly
someone who is more experienced than the average joe as deciding between
different solutions isn't exactly easy compared to either say yes or no to
the only solution other tools find.

In that vision, the biggest problem for aptitude to face currently are
problems it has with multiarch. I implemented it in APT in a way i hoped
it would make it possible to sell multiarch as singlearch to the frontends.
This (surprisingly) works for a lot of cases, but from the folks from ubuntu
i heard different stuff about aptitude performance in multiarch environment
(we don't have it in debian yet, so i rely here on chit-chat - bear with me)
so i guess certain codepaths depend on singlearch more than others do.

I personally don't have the time to fix all these problems in all the
frontends and in general i am very reluctant to touch stuff i don't use,
but feel free to drop any question about how to fix <foobar> for multiarch
you like to be answered to deity at d.l.o and i will try my best.
(public, so others can profit too, as i suspect the volume to rise
 after a dpkg upload with multiarch enabled…)

So, good luck with forming a taskforce - i hope you will made it!

Best regards

David Kalnischkies

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