[Aptitude-devel] Bug#402454: Bug#402454: aptitude: ~O definition and behaviour

Daniel Hartwig mandyke at gmail.com
Wed Jan 9 02:35:42 UTC 2013

On 9 January 2013 09:43, Axel Beckert <abe at debian.org> wrote:
> Osamu Aoki wrote:
>> Thus “!~Odebian” will also find virtual packages and obsolete packages which
>> is no longer found in the origins when used along aptitude search.
> Exactly.

All is well.

>> I would suggest following instead:
>> |~Oorigin
>> |
>> |    Matches non-virtual package versions whose origin can be traced to
>> |    the regular expression origin using active /etc/apt/sources.list.

The current description implies that only real (non-virtual) packages
are matched:

> Matches package /versions/ whose origin matches the regular
> expression origin.

This is fine.  Virtual packages have no /version/, by definition.
Explicitly mentioning the implications in the definition of each search
term is difficult to read, prone to many errors, and becomes out dated as
the specific implications change over time.  It is preferrable to avoid
this in favour of using precise terminology such as “package versions”,
and careful reading.

However, there is certainly room for more general discussion of concepts
such as real vs. virtual packages earlier in the text, or perhaps in an
appendix/glossary.  A full discussion belongs somewhere with apt, since
that is the source of these concepts, however a short discussion is
suitable for aptitude's documentation.

>> |    “!~v!~Odebian” will find non-virtual package versions which can not
>> |    trace their origin to debian using active /etc/apt/sources.list on
>> |    your system (packages not from the active Debian archive).
> That part seems to be rather documenting the current state. I though
> miss that ~c (remove but configured packages) are not mentioned,
> because they're matched, too, in case they're no more in the archive.

This example is indeed poorly constructed and could be repaired as


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