[Aptitude-devel] Bug#707322: aptitude: show which dependencies (or suggests/recommends/enhances) a package would loose on upgrade

Christoph Anton Mitterer calestyo at scientia.net
Thu May 9 02:41:09 UTC 2013

Package: aptitude
Severity: wishlist
Tags: upstream


aptitude/apt already provide a way to show packages which are no longer
depended (or suggested/recommended/etc) upon (AND automatically remove

This is however not really informative or fine grained.

Consider the following example:
At some point in time, I install ttf-mscorefonts-installer which depends on cabextract.
Later I also clamtk, which suggests cabextract.
Or alternatively orange, which recommends it.

Now when I remove ttf-mscorefonts-installer, cabextract will stay and apt/aptitude
won't "notice", right?!
But I might have never wanted to use the functionallity cabextract provides
to the later two... but rather just installed it for ttf-mscorefonts-installer.
Effectively I have now some dark package,... installed but not used and I'll probably
never ever notice.

Of course there is no real deterministic way to automatically handle such cases,...
and even heuristics would be complicated.
But the following could be done, and might be used by people who put some effort into
keeping their systems clean of such dark packages:

For all packages going to be upgraded, show a lists of the Depends/Recommends/Suggest/
They've lost between the currently installed version and the one being upgraded to.

I think two places would be appropriate for that information:
1) The packge view itself, which of course should only show that information for the
   respective package.

2) A global over view (e.g. in the Preview window) that shows all the losts
   Depends/Recommends/Suggest/Enhances/etc. in a list and in the lowever half of the
   window, maybe giving information "by which package(s)" (there might be multiple!!)
   it was "lost".

Ideally all this would be configurable... e.g. some people might not be interested in
seeing this information alltogether, some might not want to see them for the Depends,
and some might even want to see them for the Conflicts/Breaks.

Also note, that these lists should also include cases like this:
gnome-core depends on (amongst others):
   tracker-gui | gnome-search-tool
If only one of them is lost,.. that one should obviously also be included in the lists.


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