[Aptitude-devel] Bug#693684: aptitude: "-t unstable show <package>" doesn't show expected version of package

Daniel Hartwig mandyke at gmail.com
Tue Nov 20 01:34:15 UTC 2012

Control: retitle -1 aptitude: man page mentions old “-t” exceptions
Control: tags -1 + confirmed

On 19 November 2012 17:22, Jörg-Volker Peetz <jvpeetz at web.de> wrote:
> the command
>     aptitude -t unstable show <package>
> actually shows information of the version of <package> in the default (here:
> testing) release, while the command
>     aptitude show <package>/unstable
> works as described in the documentation of aptitude and shows the
> description of <package> in the unstable release.

The section describing “-t” in aptitude(8) describes an exception to
the normal handling of this argument [1] for three commands.  That
exception is inconsistent with other aptitude commands, and apt,
including the equivalent commands in apt-get and apt-cache.  This made
use of “-t” problematic and lead to unexpected results across
combinations of commands.  For example:

$ cat /etc/apt/preferences
Package: xsltproc
Pin: release a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 991

$ aptitude changelog -t experimental xsltproc
[details from experimental version, due to “-t” exception for
“aptitude changelog”]
$ apt-get changelog -t experimental xsltproc
[details from unstable, apt-get has no “-t” exceptions]
$ su
# aptitude install -t experimental xsltproc
[installs unstable version, due to apt_preferences(5) and lack of “-t”
exception for “install”]

The “-t” exceptions have been removed to avoid this.  That section of
the man page will be updated.

> In previous versions of aptitude both commands resulted in the same
> output.

True.  The intention of current versions is that “-t unstable
<package>” is not necessarily equivalent to “<package>/unstable” in
any commands, and only has effect via the usual apt_preferences(5)
mechanism.  All of
aptitude and apt-get are now consistent in that regard, and the
problematic section of the man page will be updated.

Thanks for the report, I had missed that man page section when making
this change.

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